PA intel officer among 3 nabbed in shooting of IDF soldier

Two residents of town near Tulkarem carried out attack, while Palestinian Authority employee helped hide the gun, Shin Bet says

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

The gun that is believed to have been used in the shooting of an IDF soldiers on January 20, 2016. (Shin Bet)
The gun that is believed to have been used in the shooting of an IDF soldiers on January 20, 2016. (Shin Bet)

Israeli forces captured a group of Palestinians, including a member of the Palestinian Authority intelligence service, whom they suspect in the shooting of an IDF soldier near Tulkarem last week, officials announced on Sunday.

The soldier was shot and lightly wounded when his unit came under fire during an early-morning raid in Danaba, near the West Bank city of Tulkarem. He was evacuated to a nearby hospital for treatment, while the rest of the troops returned fire and began searching the area for suspects, but were unable to find them immediately, the army said at the time.

The Shin Bet security service and the Israel Defense Forces then launched a joint operation to hunt down the shooters, which ended on Friday with the capture and arrest of three Danaba residents. The security forces also found and confiscated the weapon allegedly used in the attack, the Shin Bet said.

Ammar Anbass, a 27-year-old who had previously served time in an Israeli prison, and Samer el-Haq, 30, were believed to have carried out the attack against the IDF soldiers.

Alaa Barqawi, a member of the Palestinian intelligence service, assisted Anbass and el-Haq after the fact, hiding the gun they used, the Shin Bet alleged.

“During the investigation, the operatives confessed to plotting and carrying out the shooting and surrendered the weapons used for the attack,” the IDF said in a statement.

It was not immediately clear if Anbass and Barqawi were associated with any larger terror organizations or if they acted independently.

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