Hebron snipers caught after months-long search
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Hebron snipers caught after months-long search

Two brothers, Nasser and Akram Badawi, accused of carrying out shooting attacks that left 4 Israelis wounded

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

A photo composite showing Nasser, right, and Akram Badawi, who are believed to have carried out a number of shooting attacks against Israelis since November. (Shin Bet)
A photo composite showing Nasser, right, and Akram Badawi, who are believed to have carried out a number of shooting attacks against Israelis since November. (Shin Bet)

Israeli security forces have arrested two brothers from Hebron who are believed to have carried out a number of sniper attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers over the past few months, the Shin Bet security service announced on Monday.

The two brothers, Nasser Faisal Mahmad Badawi and Akram Faisal Mehmed Badawi, along with a number of other suspected operatives in terror organizations, were arrested in a joint Shin Bet, IDF and Israel Police operation over the past few weeks. The exact dates of many of the arrests have not been released.

The Badawi brothers have been implicated in a series of sniper attacks that injured four Israelis. The younger brother, Nasser, is a member of Hamas, the Shin Bet said.

On November 6, 2015, Nasser and Akram met on the third floor of a building owned by their father near the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron. From that vantage point, Nasser, 23, and Akram, 33, fired into a group of Jewish Israelis who were praying near the holy site, injuring two of them, one seriously and the other lightly.

A sniper rifle believed to have been used by two Palestinian brothers in a number of shooting attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers in the West Bank city of Hebron. (Courtesy/Shin Bet)
A sniper rifle believed to have been used by two Palestinian brothers in a number of shooting attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers in the West Bank city of Hebron. (Courtesy/Shin Bet)

“After carrying out the attack, the two then went on to their cousin’s wedding celebration,” the Shin Bet said, citing their confession.

The Badawi brothers decided to carry out the sniper attacks as a form of revenge for the killing of an elderly Hebron resident who was shot as she allegedly attempted to carry out a car ramming attack at the nearby Halhul Junction earlier that day, Nasser told investigators.

On January 3, Nasser returned to the same apartment with the sniper rifle, which has since been confiscated by the Shin Bet, and shot at a group of soldiers, hitting a female cadet in the pelvis and seriously injuring her, according to the security service.

Later that day, the two brothers are believed to have traveled to the nearby Kvasim Junction, where Akram again fired at a group of soldiers, lightly wounding one, the Shin Bet said in a statement.

On January 9, Nasser was arrested and questioned about his involvement in the attacks. To throw off suspicion, Akram carried out another shooting on January 16, though no one was injured in the attempt, the Shin Bet said.

A short while later, Akram was arrested as well, though the security service would not reveal the exact date.

In addition to the attacks that resulted in injuries, the brothers are also suspected of having carried out a number of shootings against groups of Israeli soldiers in Hebron and against nearby military outposts, in which no one was hurt, the Shin Bet said.

During their confession, the brothers told their interrogators they’d learned how to silence the sniper rifle using an old oil filter by watching videos on the Internet, the Shin Bet said.

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