Ariel terrorists planned in advance to torch car, were picked up by father: reports

The two suspected shooters packed flammable materials in their vehicle ahead of attack, father of one has been arrested, reports say

Israeli security and rescue personnel at the scene of a shooting attack, at the entrance to Ariel, in the West Bank, on April 30, 2022. (Flash90)
Israeli security and rescue personnel at the scene of a shooting attack, at the entrance to Ariel, in the West Bank, on April 30, 2022. (Flash90)

The two suspects in Friday’s deadly shooting in Ariel planned in advance to torch the car they used in the attack, and set out with flammable materials in the vehicle, according to Sunday reports.

New details from the investigation raised suspicions that the father of one of the suspects came to pick the two up after they burned the car, and helped them escape, the reports said.

The father has been arrested as a key accessory.

Security officials believe that after the attack, the suspects drove for around 15 minutes, then stopped the car in an open area and burned it.

They remained on foot in the area for several hours, before making contact with one of their fathers, who picked them up in his vehicle and brought them home, Channel 13 reported.

The attackers planned the shooting for weeks, including by acquiring a stolen vehicle and firearms, and by scouting the area for potential targets, investigators believe.

Vyacheslav Golev, 23, was gunned down inside a guard booth at the gate to the settlement on Friday night.

Earlier Sunday the military said Israeli forces raided the West Bank hometown of the two Palestinian suspects.

During the operation in the town of Qarawat Bani Hassan, the homes of Youssef Sameeh Assi and Yahya Marei were measured and prepared for eventual demolition, the Israel Defense Forces said.

The IDF released video of troops preparing the home for demolition on Sunday.

Israel demolishes, as a matter of policy, the homes of Palestinians accused of carrying out deadly terror attacks. The efficacy of the policy is controversial within the Israeli security establishment, and human rights activists have denounced it as unfair collective punishment.

Sunday reports said the weapons used in the attack were hidden in a bag in one of the suspects’ homes.

Earlier reports said the suspects had scoped out the site of the attack ahead of time, and had identified it as a vulnerable point in Israel’s West Bank security.

During Friday’s attack, a vehicle drove up to the guard post, where a gunman in the passenger seat opened fire. The gunman and the driver then both got out and fired into the guard post before driving off.

Golev’s death was declared at the scene.

He is survived by his parents and seven siblings who live in Beit Shemesh, and his fiancée, Victoria Fligelman from the southern city of Ashkelon, who was stationed at the guard post during the attack.

An undated photo of Vyacheslav Golev who was killed in a shooting attack near Ariel on April 29, and his fiancée, Victoria Fligelman. (Courtesy)

Golev used his body to shield her from the hail of bullets, saving her life, according to military officials. She was not wounded in the attack.

Golev was buried on Sunday in his hometown of Beit Shemesh.

The attack on Ariel came as tensions have risen sharply between Israel and the Palestinians in recent weeks against the backdrop of repeated terror attacks in Israeli cities that left 15 dead.

The escalation has come amid the Muslim holy month of Ramadan — often a period of high tension in Israel and the West Bank.

The army has stepped up its West Bank activities in an attempt to crack down on the spiraling violence. The ensuing raids sparked clashes that left at least 26 Palestinians dead, many of whom took part in the clashes, while others appeared to have been uninvolved civilians.

Emanuel Fabian contributed to this report.

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