Police arrest 8 Palestinians suspected of aiding escaped gunman who killed soldier

Clashes erupt as officers detain relatives and acquaintances of Udai Tamimi, accused of killing Sgt. Noa Lazar in shooting attack in Shuafat earlier this month

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Officers detain a Palestinian man in the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, October 18, 2022. (Israel Police)
Officers detain a Palestinian man in the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, October 18, 2022. (Israel Police)

Eight Palestinians suspected of aiding a gunman who allegedly killed an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint near Jerusalem earlier this month were arrested by Israeli security forces in the predawn hours of Tuesday.

Sgt. Noa Lazar, 18, a member of the Military Police’s Erez battalion, was shot on October 8 along with a civilian guard when the gunman opened fire at a checkpoint near the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem. The guard was hospitalized in serious condition. Lazar was rushed to the hospital but died of her wounds shortly after.

The suspected shooter, 22-year-old Udai Tamimi, managed to flee the scene into the camp, where he is thought to likely still be hiding.

Police said the eight suspects, residents of the Shuafat refugee camp and the nearby West Bank town of Anata, were relatives and acquaintances of Tamimi.

A Border Police spokesman said that during the searches overnight, weapon parts and military vests were seized.

The spokesman added that Palestinians hurled Molotov cocktails and stones at officers, who responded with riot dispersal means. There were no immediate reports of Palestinian injuries.

Police said no officers were hurt in the incidents.

Sgt Noa Lazar, 18, who was killed in a shooting attack in East Jerusalem on October 8, 2022. (Israel Defence Forces)

Security forces have been searching for Tamimi since the attack, in which the gunman casually emerged from the passenger side of a white vehicle stopped at a checkpoint near Shuafat, walked up to a group of soldiers and opened fire from nearly point-blank range.

Several more suspects were arrested in the Shuafat area in the days following the shooting.

Udai Tamimi, 22, of the Shuafat refugee camp, is the suspected shooter behind a deadly attack on October 8, 2022 in which a female soldier was shot and killed at close range at a checkpoint near the camp in East Jerusalem. (Photo used in accordance with clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

The heavy police activity in Shuafat led to days of rioting in the refugee camp and other Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. Unrest in the capital appeared to lower to a simmer over the past few days.

Separately, the Israel Defense Forces said troops arrested five wanted Palestinians during overnight raids across the West Bank, and seized a firearm and other weapons parts.

The West Bank, particularly in its north, has seen a surge in violence in recent months, with Palestinian gunmen targeting military posts, troops operating along the West Bank security barrier, Israeli settlements, and civilians on the roads.

The military launched major arrest operations after a series of Palestinian attacks that killed 19 people between mid-March and the beginning of May.

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