Israel can’t conduct a full security check on Palestinian workers entering the Barkan Industrial Park, a security official said Monday, a day after a terrorist killed two Israelis and wounded another using a submachine gun he smuggled into the compound in the northern West Bank.
The security guard who was in charge of inspecting the thousands of Palestinian workers on the morning of the brutal attack said there were too many people to inspect during just one hour at the beginning of each workday.
“The metal detector beeps all the time and we can’t do anything about it,” the guard told public broadcaster Kan. “We barely manage to check that their work permits aren’t fake. We have no way to perform a substantial security check on the workers.”
The terrorist, 23-year-old Ashraf Walid Suleiman Na’alowa, had a valid work permit and had been carrying the firearm used to commit the shooting attack in his backpack, which wasn’t inspected.
On Sunday morning, Na’alowa entered the offices of the Alon Group in the Barkan Industrial Park near the settlement-city of Ariel armed with a locally produced Carlo-style submachine gun, according to the Israel Defense Forces.
Inside, the gunman handcuffed Kim Levengrond Yehezkel, 28, and fatally shot her from close range. He then shot a second female victim in the stomach, moderately wounding her. The terrorist then shot and killed Ziv Hajbi, 35.
The suspect, from the village of Shuweika near Tulkarem, fled the scene, prompting a large-scale search of the area and a deployment of additional troops to the West Bank to prevent copycat attacks, the army said. Security forces detained Na’alowa’s brother and sister on Monday morning.
The military has launched an investigation of the security failure, checking whether the private security firm employed by the state to secure the industrial zone was complying with rules dictated by the military. It will also focus on whether those rules are sufficient.
Additionally, the investigation will check whether the terrorist intended to take Levengrond Yehezkel hostage, having used zip-ties to bind her hands.
Levengrond Yehezkel was secretary to the CEO, while Hajbi worked in accounting. Na’alowa was employed at Alon Group as an electrician.
Levengrond Yehezkel was buried in her hometown of Rosh Ha’ayin in central Israel on Sunday night. She is survived by her husband and a 15-month-old son.
The funeral for Hajbi, a father of three, will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, in the southern community of Nir Yisrael.
The businesses in the Barkan Industrial Park, located near Ariel, employ some 8,000 people, approximately half of them Israelis and the other half Palestinians.
Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.