IDF says accomplice in Havat Gilad terror attack arrested

Daylong operation in northern West Bank is latest attempt to nab Ahmad Nassar Jarrar, suspected of killing Rabbi Raziel Shevach

An accomplice of a Palestinian suspected of shooting dead an Israeli man last month was arrested in the northern West Bank overnight Saturday, the IDF said in a statement.

The arrest came after a daylong operation Saturday in the Jenin area that saw a 19-year-old protester killed in clashes with Israeli forces.

Jenin residents on Saturday reported heavy military presence and said IDF soldiers, using loudspeakers, called for the surrender of Ahmad Nassar Jarrar, the suspected leader of the terror cell that shot and killed 35-year-old father of six Rabbi Raziel Shevach as he drove home to the Havat Gilad outpost on January 9.

Footage shared widely on Palestinian social media showed a convoy of IDF bulldozers and other demolition vehicles entering the nearby village of Burqin.

Ahmad Nassar Jarrar, 22, head of the terror cell who shot dead Rabbi Raziel Shevach in the West Bank on January 9 (Twitter)

The presence of Israeli troops in the Palestinian areas sparked clashes with local residents. The Palestinian Health ministry said one man, 19-year-old Ahmad Abu-Obeid, was shot dead by soldiers during a stone-throwing confrontation. The Red Crescent said five other protesters were injured by rubber-coated bullets in the same incident.

Reports in Hebrew-language media said the IDF arrested several members of Jarrar’s family during the Saturday raids, including his wife and father. The IDF did not confirm those arrests in its statement on Sunday.

Jarrar himself is believed to have evaded capture during a January 18 operation to arrest him in Jenin. In an operation led by the Israel Police’s counterterrorism unit, security forces used a technique known as “pressure cooker,” in which troops use a number of high-intensity weapons and tools to disorient the suspects inside a house before knocking down a wall and entering the structure in full force.

Rabbi Raziel Shevach with his daughter, in an undated photo (Courtesy of the family)

A firefight broke out during that arrest raid. One suspect was killed and another was taken into custody.

However, Ahmad Jarrar apparently succeeded in fleeing the scene. Israeli forces have been in pursuit of him ever since, with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman saying that he is “living on borrowed time.”

In a separate operation overnight Saturday, IDF troops arrested several Palestinians believed to have been responsible for attacking an Israeli man who on Friday inadvertently strayed into a Palestinian neighborhood outside of Jerusalem.

The army said in a statement that a joint raid involving police and border police forces saw six Palestinians arrested.

The Israeli troops were confronted by rioters from the village, and a grenade was thrown at security forces. No injuries were reported.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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