IDF soldiers overnight Thursday arrested several suspects who were likely involved in helping terrorist Ashraf Nalaweh, the murderer of Ziv Hajabi, Hy”d, and Kim Levengard Yechezkel, Hy”d, hide from authorities. The two were murdered by Nalaweh in a terror attack in the Barkan industrial zone near Ariel several weeks ago. The arrests were made in several villages in the Tul Karem area.
Several other arrests were made earlier this week, and officials believe they are closing in on Nalaweh. There has been an intensive search for Nalaweh over the past several weeks, but as yet have been unable to find him. Searches have concentrated on the Tul Karem area, as well as in the Shechem area, where Nalaweh was thought to have fled to, as he has relatives there. He is considered armed and dangerous, but officials believe it is only a matter of time. “He can’t hide out forever, and when he surfaces we will be there to capture him,” security officials told Hadashot News. “We are keeping the pressure on to make sure he runs out of options and is unable to organize a long-term effort to remain underground.”
In the attack, Nalaweh murdered Hajabi and Yechezkel in the offices of Alon Metal Works in the Barkan Industrial Zone, where he worked. Nalaweh arrived for work in the morning, carrying with him an assault rifle hidden under his clothing. As a regular employee with a work permit, he was admitted to the grounds of the industrial zone without too much scrutiny, security officials told Yediot Acharonot.
Security officials told Hadashot News that one of the challenges in finding the terrorist is that he apparently acted as a “lone wolf,” without an organization like of the major terror groups behind him. Thus, he has his own network of people assisting him, who are apparently not known to operatives of terror groups Israel has questioned, or informants Israel works with.
Overnight Thursday, security officials said they arrested 20 wanted security suspects in other areas in Yehudah and Shomron. The suspects were wanted for participating in rioting and throwing stones and firebombs that endangered Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers. Several of the suspects were also charged with belonging to Hamas. All were being questioned on their activities by security forces.