Israeli troops arrested eight Palestinians, including the sister of a terrorist who murdered a teenage girl in the settlement of Kiryat Arba, in overnight sweeps in the West Bank, the army said Sunday morning.
The army said in a statement that the arrest of Lara Tarayrah of Bani Na’im, a village near Hebron, was part of its crackdown on incitement and support for terrorism.
On Thursday, Tararyah’s brother Muhammad Nasser Tarayrah, 17, stabbed and killed Hallel Yaffa Ariel, 13, as she slept in her bed in the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba, adjacent to Hebron.
He was shot and killed by guards who responded to Ariel’s screams.
A short video clip published on Palestinian media Thursday showed a sister of Tarayrah referring to her brother as a “martyr.”
“My brother is now a martyr. May God judge the Jews, and may my brother be content with his portion in paradise,” she said.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the sister who was arrested Sunday was the same one who praised her brother’s actions, but the IDF said the arrest came “as part of dealing with incitement and encouragement of attackers to engage in terrorist attacks.”
The official Palestinian Authority news agency WAFA said Tarayrah was 22 years old. Muhammad Tararyah’s father was also arrested by Israeli troops, shortly after the attack.
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Police arrested six people in the Hebron area and two more in the Palestinian town of Beit Fajjar, near Bethlehem.
The roundups came as the army was bolstering its activity in the West Bank following a surge in attacks over the past several days, including a deadly drive-by shooting near Hebron on Friday.
Security forces on Friday morning thwarted an attempted attack next to the Tomb of the Patriarchs in the West Bank city. According to Palestinian sources, the attack was carried out by Sarah Hajoj, 27, a member of the Tarayrah family, who was killed by responding forices.
Tararyah’s cousin Yusuf was killed in March after ramming his car into a group of soldiers near Kiryat Arba. Following the incident, Muhammad Tararyah posted on Facebook several times about his cousin and his own wish to die.
Earlier, the army said it arrested several suspects in the Hebron area of the West Bank in the early hours of Saturday, as part of the hunt for those responsible for Friday’s shooting attack that killed Rabbi Miki Mark.
Large numbers of troops were deployed to the area, working in parallel with Israel’s intelligence agencies, Channel 2 reported, as the defense establishment sought to track down the cell behind the terror attack that killed the yeshiva head and left his wife seriously wounded. Two of their teenage children were also hurt in the attack.
The IDF has stepped up its troop presence in the West Bank, sending two battalions to help secure settlements and the main roads used by Israelis.
Amid the surge in terror, Israel on Friday placed an effective closure on Hebron and announced an immediate cut to tax funds it collects for the Palestinian Authority, saying it would deduct the amount the Palestinian leadership pays to the families of terrorists.
Officials have also vowed to crack down on what they term incitement to violence on social media.
On Saturday night, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan called on Israelis to flood Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg with demands to clamp on down on the abuse of Facebook by terrorists and their supporters.
“Facebook, which has brought a positive revolution to the world, since the rise of Islamic State and the wave of terror, has become a monster,” charged Erdan. “The dialogue, the incitement, the lies of the young Palestinian generation are happening on the Facebook platform.”
Facebook dismissed the charges in an official statement.