Israeli security forces on Tuesday arrested the brothers of the Palestinian terrorist who shot dead three Israelis in Har Adar, near Jerusalem, earlier in the day.
The army said Nimer Mahmoud Ahmad Jamal’s two brothers were arrested by IDF and Border Police officers when they raided the attacker’s hometown of Bayt Surik in the West Bank. One other person was arrested in the operation, but the army did not identify them.
Reports in Palestinian media said Jamal’s father was also arrested.
The IDF said in a statement that Bayt Surik was sealed off by security forces to prevent any accomplices from escaping or evidence destroyed.
“As part of the operation, IDF and Border Police forces swept the village, raided the terrorist’s home and blockaded the village. Various forces and intelligence methods were deployed, visible and hidden, in the roads and paths [around the village] in order to ensure security in the area,” the military said.
Early Tuesday morning, 37-year-old Jamal took a pistol out of his shirt and shot at a group of security officers who were opening the back gates of Har Adar to Palestinian laborers.
One border police officer, Solomon Gavriyah, 20, and two private security guards — Youssef Ottman, 25, of the nearby Arab Israeli community of Abu Ghosh, and Or Arish, 25, of Har Adar — were killed in the attack. Another man, the settlement’s security coordinator, suffered serious gunshot wounds to his stomach and chest. His injuries after surgery were downgraded to light-to-moderate.
After the attack, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel would demolish Jamal’s home and rescind the work permits held by the terrorist’s relatives.
כחלק מהפעילות בעקבות הפיגוע, פשטו כוחותינו וכוחות מג"ב על בית המחבל וכיתרו את מרחב הכפר ממנו יצא. בנוסף עצרו הכוחות 3 חשודים במעורבות בפיגוע pic.twitter.com/GYJUXBbUXH
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) September 26, 2017
Jamal had previously worked in the settlement and held a valid work permit for Israeli communities located along the “seam line” between Israel and the West Bank.
Following the attack, the Palestinian laborers were allowed into Har Adar. However, a short while later, the military removed them from the settlement, an IDF spokesperson said.
In the aftermath of the attack, politicians called for the Defense Ministry to revisit the vetting process for work permits. However, Israeli settlements in the area allowed Palestinian laborers to enter freely.
The Shin Bet security service said Jamal appeared to have been suffering from “significant personal and family problems.” He also had a history of domestic violence.
However, Jamal did not have a history of terrorist activity, which would have prevented him from receiving a work permit.
The Shin Bet noted that the terrorist’s wife left him several weeks ago and moved to Jordan, leaving him with the children.
The IDF released a private message that he had sent to his wife, calling her a “good wife and a good mother” and apologizing for the way he treated her.
Personal and mental health problems have been common among the terrorists who committed attacks over the past two years of increased violence. However, Jamal’s age and the fact that he held a work permit set him apart from the typical assailant.
During a press conference after the attack, Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich commented on that fact, saying, “To my regret there is no [usual] profile for a terrorist.”
The police chief added: “It could just be someone who is fed up with everything and decides to take out his rage in an attack.”