Over a month later, killer is still on the run

Father of Barkan terrorist charged with failing to prevent attack

Mother and brother of Ashraf Na’alowa, who killed Kim Levengrond Yehezkel and Ziv Hajbi, already indicted for similar allegations

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

Illustrative. Israeli forces issue a demolition order for the West Bank home of Ashraf Na’alowa, the suspected terrorist who shot and killed two Israelis at the Barkan Industrial Park, October 15, 2018 (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
Illustrative. Israeli forces issue a demolition order for the West Bank home of Ashraf Na’alowa, the suspected terrorist who shot and killed two Israelis at the Barkan Industrial Park, October 15, 2018 (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

The father of a Palestinian man suspected of shooting dead two Israelis in a brutal terror attack last month was charged on Thursday with failing to prevent his son’s crime.

On October 7, Ashraf Na’alowa, 23, allegedly killed his coworkers Kim Levengrond Yehezkel and Ziv Hajbi at a factory where all three worked in the Barkan Industrial Zone. Another Israeli woman was also injured in the attack.

Over 50 days later, Na’alowa, from the West Bank village of Shuweika near Tulkarem, remains on the run, repeatedly eluding capture by Israel security forces. In the interim, a number of his relatives and alleged accomplices have been detained and indicted as part of the manhunt.

His father, Walid Suleiman Na’alowa, was charged in a West Bank military court with both failing to prevent the attack and interfering with the investigation.

Ashraf Walid Suleiman Na’alowa, a Palestinian man suspected of carrying out a deadly terror attack on October 7, 2018, in the Barkan Industrial Zone in the northern West Bank. (Courtesy)

According to the Israel Defense Forces, Na’alowa’s father knew that his son intended to commit a terror attack and that he’d been training with a gun in the weeks prior to the killings.

Na’alowa’s mother, Wafaa Na’alowa, and brother, Amjad Na’alowa, were indicted earlier this month on similar charges.

His father Walid was also charged with interfering in the search by trying to hide Na’alowa’s car.

“He tried to sell the terrorist’s car in order to get rid of it, and when that failed, he hid the vehicle,” the army said.

Military prosecutors requested he be held in custody until the end of the legal proceedings.

The indictment against Walid Na’alowa was filed in the Samaria Military Court, the same place where two weeks earlier his wife and older son were also charged.

According to the army, Na’alowa’s mother Wafaa was aware her son owned a gun and was training with it. He told her two weeks before the shooting he wished to carry out an attack and die as a “martyr.”

She also allegedly informed Na’alowa’s brother of his intentions but the two took no steps to stop him, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement at the time.

The brother was also indicted on one charge of obstructing justice for allegedly trying to conceal a recording device for security cameras at their home.

Following the attack, the IDF swiftly issued a demolition order for Na’alowa’s home, in keeping with the Israeli policy of razing homes of convicted Palestinian terrorists.

The High Court of Justice issued a temporary injunction last month preventing the demolition following an appeal from Na’alowa’s family.

Kim Levengrond Yehezkel, 29 (left), and Ziv Hajbi, 35, who were killed in a terror shooting in the Barkan industrial zone in the West Bank, October 7, 2018. (screenshots: Facebook)

In most cases, demolition orders are issued after a suspect has confessed, or has been convicted in court. However in Na’alowa’s case, the IDF decided to go ahead with the punitive measure because the Shin Bet security service has significant incriminating evidence against him, the Ynet news site reported.

A notice distributed by IDF Central Command, Maj. Gen. Nadav Padan said the basement and ground floors of Na’alowa’s home, where the suspected assailant lived, would be destroyed.

The families of the victims have demanded more severe reprisal measures from Israel against Na’alowa and his family.

At a memorial rally held at the Barkan complex last week, Levengrond Yehezkel’s father, Rafi, said the family demanded that Na’alowa be put to death if caught. Israel does not currently carry the death penalty for murder or terrorism.

Hajbi’s brother Tal criticized the IDF for the decision to demolish only the basement and ground floors of the Na’alowa home.

“A partial demolition of the terrorist’s home is unacceptable. The whole home must be razed,” Hajbi said, “and the family must be expelled.”

An IDF soldier notifying a relative of terror suspect Ashraf Na’alowa of the military’s intention to demolish his home, October 15, 2018. (IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)

The military has launched an investigation of the Barkan attack to determine, among other things, how the gun was smuggled into the industrial park and whether the terrorist had intended to take Levengrond Yehezkel hostage, having used zip-ties to bind her hands before shooting her.

Levengrond was a secretary, while Hajbi worked in accounting at the Alon Group’s factory in the industrial park. Na’alowa was employed there as an electrician.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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