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IDF arrests suspected accomplice of Jerusalem Old City gunman

Troops clash with Palestinians while raiding West Bank home of Ahmad Abu al-Rabb, who was shot dead after firing at cops near Temple Mount

A photo released by the Israel Defense Forces on December 23, 2020, shows a soldier in the West Bank village of Qabatiya, during a raid of the home of Ahmad Abu al-Rabb. (Israel Defense Forces)
A photo released by the Israel Defense Forces on December 23, 2020, shows a soldier in the West Bank village of Qabatiya, during a raid of the home of Ahmad Abu al-Rabb. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli troops early Wednesday arrested a suspected accomplice of a Palestinian gunman who shot at police officers in Jerusalem’s Old City.

The arrest came as soldiers raided the home of Ahmad Abu al-Rabb in the northern West Bank village of Qabatiya. Al-Rabb, 17, was shot dead by police after he opened fire Monday at officers stationed near an entrance to the Temple Mount. No cops were hit by the gunfire.

An Israel Defense Forces statement said troops also seized weaponry during the raid. No details were provided about the suspect who was arrested or his alleged involvement in the attempted attack.

The military said dozens of Palestinians rioted in Qabatiya, blocking a road and throwing Molotov cocktails. It also said gunfire was heard in the area.

Soldiers responded with riot dispersal means, according to the statement.

A photo released by the Israel Defense Forces on December 23, 2020, shows a gun allegedly seized during a raid of the home of Ahmad Abu al-Rabb, in the northern West Bank village of Qabatiya. (Israel Defense Forces)

The IDF said Tuesday that it was sending reinforcements to the West Bank and halting home leave for troops attached to the regional division. The soldiers will be tasked with guarding settlements and roads, the military said.

The move came after Esther Horgen, a 52-year-old mother of six, was killed late Sunday in a northern West Bank forest, after she went for a run near her home in the Tal Menashe settlement. Security forces were increasingly convinced that her death was a terror attack committed by a Palestinian assailant, officials said on Monday afternoon. No suspects have been apprehended.

Esther Horgen, 52, who was found dead in the northern West Bank from a suspected terror attack on December 20, 2020. (Courtesy)

In another incident, over the weekend a Palestinian threw a Molotov cocktail at a soldier stationed near the Kedumim settlement before fleeing. The soldier, who wasn’t injured, was dismissed from the Golani Brigade’s reconnaissance battalion for failing to open fire at the suspect.

Along with concerns over possible further attacks against Israeli citizens and troops, defense officials were worried there could be far-right assaults on Palestinians, the Kan public broadcaster reported Tuesday.

On Monday, a young settler died in a car crash when he and others attempted to flee police after allegedly throwing rocks at Palestinians in central West Bank, leading to clashes between protesters and officers at police headquarters in Jerusalem.

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