The Hamas terror group on Tuesday mourned the death of Ahmad Nassar Jarrar, the suspected ringleader of a terrorist group responsible for an attack that killed an Israeli rabbi, and said all Palestinians were proud of him.
Jarrar was shot dead by Israeli forces during a predawn arrest operation in Jenin. He was armed and died in a shootout with the Israeli troops.
His death brought to an end a nearly month-long manhunt for the perpetrators of the drive-by shooting that killed Rabbi Raziel Shevach, a father of six, on January 9 as he drove down the highway outside the Havat Gilad illegal outpost where he lived.
Hamas called on Palestinians to avenge the killing of Jarrar by targeting settlers and IDF soldiers.
Acknowledging that Jarrar was a member of its military wing, Hamas said in a statement that the “resistance” against Israel would continue until the “occupation” ends.
“Our hero and martyr has carried out the duty of resistance and defending the land of Palestine,” Hamas said, praising Jarrar for refusing to surrender to the IDF.
Vowing to pursue “resistance and jihad,” Hamas said that the West Bank will remain the “address for steadfastness and defiance” against Israel.
“The West Bank will produce 1,000 Jarrars,” Hamas added.
Troops from the Israel Defense Forces, the Shin Bet security service and the Israel Police’s Special Patrol Unit arrived at the building where Jarrar was hiding in the village of Yamoun, near Jenin, early Tuesday morning, following a “determined and complicated intelligence and operational effort,” the Shin Bet said.
When Jarrar, 22, exited the building, he was armed with an M-16 assault rifle and a bag of explosives, prompting the Israeli troops to open fire. The suspected terrorist ringleader was killed in the shootout, the security service said in a statement.
No Israeli troops were injured.
In its announcement, the Shin Bet stressed that Jarrar had “personally taken part in the terror attack,” but would not say if he was the one who fired the gunshots that killed Shevach or if he had another role in the attack.
The Shin Bet said that its investigation into the cell’s activities is ongoing, but details of it are being gagged by the military censor.
According to Hamas, Jarrar is the son of Nassar Jarrar, who served as a senior Hamas commander in the West Bank and leader of the terror group’s forces in Jenin until he was killed by Israeli troops in 2002.
In response to Shevach’s killing, the cabinet on Sunday voted to begin a process of legalizing the Havat Gilad outpost.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.