Shin Bet: Gunman shot up settlements over tiff with family

Palestinian suspect killed in firefight with Israeli forces went on shooting spree with fiancée, attacking two West Bank communities

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

The firearm used by a Palestinian gunman, who attempted to shoot Israeli troops who came to arrest him, before being shot and killed, on July 16, 2017. (Israel Police)
The firearm used by a Palestinian gunman, who attempted to shoot Israeli troops who came to arrest him, before being shot and killed, on July 16, 2017. (Israel Police)

A Palestinian gunman who was killed in a firefight with Israeli forces on Sunday had gone on a shooting spree with his fiancée following an argument with their families over their engagement, according to the Shin Bet security service.

The suspect — identified by police as Amar Ahmad Halil of Nabi Saleh — was behind two drive-by shooting attacks on Saturday near the West Bank settlement of Ateret, which left a Palestinian driver lightly hurt, and one at an IDF post near Halil’s hometown of Nabi Saleh, according to Israeli security forces.

There were no injuries in the second attack, the army said. Soldiers uncovered two bullet casings in the area.

Hours after the attack, Israeli security forces — made up of troops from the army, Shin Bet and Border Police — entered Nabi Saleh to arrest Halil.

“The forces encountered the suspect, who attempted to open fire at them. In response to the immediate threat forces fired towards the attacker resulting in his death,” it said.

Another Palestinian detainee was lightly injured in the firefight and was treated at the scene, the army said.

According to the Shin Bet, Halil, 34, was a former member of the Palestinian Authority’s security services.

His fiancee, Rawan Amber, accompanied Halil during the attacks, according to the Shin Bet.

On Sunday, she handed herself in to the PA police and was placed under arrest.

According to the Shin Bet, the two carried out the attacks because their families opposed their engagement.

The gun used was an improvised Carlo-style submachine gun that was made to look like an M-16 assault rifle.

The incident came two days after three Arab Israeli gunmen shot and killed two Israeli police officers at the Temple Mount. Security forces at the scene of Friday’s dramatic attack killed the three attackers.

Also Friday, Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian during clashes in a West Bank refugee camp south of Jerusalem, officials said. According to the military, during an arrest raid in the Deheishe refugee camp, outside Bethlehem, Palestinians began throwing large rocks and explosive devices at the troops. In response, the soldiers opened fire “in order to remove the threat,” the army said.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report

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