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'Terrorism will not win and will not move us from our place'

PM, ministers praise security forces for capturing suspected terrorists

Bennett, Gantz and Lapid congratulate IDF and Shin Bet after apprehension of six suspects in last week’s deadly West Bank shooting

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (R) and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid during a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem on November 14, 2021. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (R) and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid during a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem on November 14, 2021. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)

Cabinet ministers congratulated Israeli security forces Sunday morning for the successful operation to catch six Palestinians suspected of carrying out a deadly terror shooting in the West Bank last week.

The suspects were arrested during an overnight raid in the northern West Bank village of Silat al-Harithiya, near Jenin, by the Israel Defense Forces and Israel Police’s Yamam counterterrorism unit. They were all handed over to the Shin Bet for interrogation.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement that he had been monitoring the operation and that security forces “acted impressively, in a united manner, to get their hands on those involved in terrorism.”

He added, “Every terrorist must know that the State of Israel will settle the score with them.”

“I would like to convey to the family of Yehuda Dimentman — the pain is enormous, but terrorism will not win and will not move us from our place,” the prime minister said.

Dimentman and two other men came under fire on Thursday night as they left the Homesh outpost. A military official said their car was ambushed from the side of the road.

The 25-year-old, a father of a 9-month-old, was a student at a yeshiva, or religious school, near where the attack took place. Homesh is a settlement that was meant to have been abandoned as part of a 2005 eviction but is now the site of the illegally operated yeshiva.

Yehuda Dimentman. (Courtesy)

Two of the suspects arrested Sunday were believed to have carried out the shooting attack itself, while the others were suspected of having assisted.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz congratulated the IDF and the Shin Bet on a “prompt, professional and determined operation.”

“We will continue to fight terrorism and to bring anyone who harms or tries to harm Israeli citizens to justice,” Gantz said in a statement.

“Every terrorist who harms Israeli citizens must know that one day he will meet our security forces face to face,” Public Security Minister Omer Barlev said in response to the operation. “We will not succumb to terrorism.”

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid also tweeted his congratulations on the operation.

“The determination and patience you have demonstrated in difficult conditions strengthens Israeli deterrence and sends a clear message to the terrorist organizations: Israel’s security forces will catch every despicable murderer,” he said in a message directed at security forces.

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman said on Twitter that the operation had “prevented further terrorist attacks that could, God forbid, have led to costly casualties.”

IDF Spokesperson Ron Kochav told reporters that the suspects were spread out among multiple houses in the village and were arrested at roughly 2:30 a.m. on Sunday morning.

Kochav said security services hoped to interrogate the suspects and glean from them information that would help prevent future attacks. The spokesman said he could not immediately comment on the suspects’ connection to any terrorist groups.

A photo released by the Israel Police on December 19, 2021, shows guns allegedly used in a deadly terror attack near the West Bank outpost of Homesh. (Israel Police)

The Shin Bet said troops also recovered weapons suspected to have been used in Thursday’s attack, along with several others that were in the possession of the cell, including two M-16 rifles and a Carlo-style submachine gun, a locally produced makeshift weapon. Police later released photos of the guns.

Three infantry battalions of troops, along with special forces and intelligence units, were deployed to the West Bank following the attack, as the military, Shin Bet security service and Israel Police scoured the area for the assailants.

The Palestinian terror groups Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine praised Thursday’s attack, but did not take responsibility for it.

The past few weeks have seen a rise in Palestinian terror attacks, with four taking place in Jerusalem alone, including a deadly shooting committed by a member of Hamas.

There has also been a noted rise in settler violence toward Palestinians. A group of extremist settlers assaulted Palestinians and vandalized property in a West Bank village near Nablus overnight Thursday, Palestinian media reported Friday, hours after the attack.

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