Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Friday that the terrorist who managed to escape during the security forces’ raid in Jenin this week in search of the cell that murdered Israeli father-of-six Rabbi Raziel Shevach was ‘living like a fleeing dog… on borrowed time.”
Speaking to reporters outside the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa after visiting the two Border Police officers injured in the operation, Liberman again thanked the security forces behind the raid in the northern West Bank city, saying “it was not a one-time event, but a continuous effort.”
“We will soon get to that same terrorist who managed to escape and settle an account with him. He needs to know that he is currently living like a fleeing dog. He lives on borrowed time, and we will catch him,” the defense minister said.
Earlier Friday, defense officials acknowledged that the head of the terror cell responsible for Shevach’s January 9 murder had managed to escape during the Jenin firefight early Thursday morning.
The raid was carried about by an elite Border Police unit in cooperation with IDF troops and the Shin Bet security service. The forces managed to kill one terrorist and capture two others members of the cell. The army said that at least two others are at large.
The Palestinian heath ministry initially identified the slain suspect as Ahmad Nassar Jarrar, 22, at which point the Hamas terror group’s Jenin faction released a statement saying he was part of its military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and mourned him as a “martyr.”
Hours later, however, the Palestinian health ministry said it had been mistaken, and that a different man with a similar name had been killed. It named him as Ahmad Ismail Muhammad Jarrar, 31.
Footage that has gone viral on Palestinian social media of IDF jeeps being stoned and fire-bombed as they left Jenin this morning pic.twitter.com/06xydRZGV8
— Jacob Magid (@JacobMagid) January 18, 2018
The younger Jarrar was said to be the alleged leader of the terror cell, while the older Jarrar was one of its suspected members.
The family of the younger Jarrar released a statement published by the Hamas-linked news site Palinfo on Thursday saying their son was still alive.
According to Hamas, the younger Jarrar, is the son of Nassar Jarrar, a senior Hamas commander in the West Bank and leader of the terror group’s forces in Jenin before being killed by Israeli troops in 2002.
Asked if security forces were aware of the identity of the terrorist who managed to escape, Liberman said, “We know everything: who the terrorists are, who their accomplices are…and we will reach everyone.”
In addition to the threats aimed at Jarrar, Liberman claimed that Hamas is currently in a tattered state in Gaza, where it rules, and is therefore trying to arrange terror attacks in the West Bank such as the January 9 drive-by shooting outside Havat Gilad that killed Shevach. The terror group has also been working to open a new front from southern Lebanon, Liberman added.
Liberman said that Israel could not accept Hamas “talking about the distress (in Gaza) and the need for humanitarian aid on the one hand, while continuing to try and carry out terror attacks from Judea and Samaria [the Hebrew names for the West Bank], and build terror infrastructures out of southern Lebanon on the other.”
The defense minister added that the “sudden friendship” between senior Hamas representative Saleh al-Arouri and Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah is being followed closely by Israel, which would provide “an appropriate response.”