Suspects in deadly Elad terror attack take investigators through reenactment

Footage shows accused man cuffed as he walks through city at 4 a.m., surrounded by security officers; 2 suspects said to tell investigators they aren’t connected to Hamas

Subhi Emad Sbeihat (cuffed, center) walks through Elad with investigators to reenact the deadly terror attack, May 9, 2022 (screenshot: Channel 13)
Subhi Emad Sbeihat (cuffed, center) walks through Elad with investigators to reenact the deadly terror attack, May 9, 2022 (screenshot: Channel 13)

Two Palestinians accused of killing three men in a deadly terror rampage in Elad last week returned to the scene early Monday to take investigators through the attack.

The two Palestinians walked through the town just hours after they were captured on Sunday.

Video footage from the scene showed one of the men walking through the streets of the central city at 4 a.m. on Monday, surrounded by security officers.

He was cuffed at his hands and his feet, and one of his hands was bandaged. It was unclear how he was wounded, although the pair sustained injuries during the attack — several of the victims fought with the terrorists, according to medical and security officials.

The man appeared to be Subhi Emad Sbeihat, 20, who along with As’ad Yousef As’ad al-Rifa’i, 19, allegedly killed three people and severely wounded several others in the ultra-Orthodox city on Thursday.

Security officials have said al-Rifa’i and Shqeir were driven to Elad by Oren Ben Yiftah, a 35-year-old driver from Lod, from the West Bank security barrier, where they are believed to have sneaked into Israel.

Subhi Emad Sbeihat, left, and As’ad Yousef As’ad al-Rifa’i, from a West Bank town near Jenin, the alleged Palestinian perpetrators of the Elad terror attack on May 5, 2022 in which three Israelis were killed and several seriously wounded. (Courtesy)

A report by Channel 12 on Saturday said that the two killers told Ben Yiftah they were doing urgent renovations at the synagogue on Yehuda Hanassi Street in Elad. When they got close to the synagogue, they attacked him with an axe and a knife, the report said. He fought back, but they overpowered him and killed him.

According to Hebrew-language media reports, Ben Yiftah did not know the pair were in Israel illegally. He had transported them at least 10 times in the past to work in the ultra-Orthodox city, and was unaware of their attack plans.

After allegedly killing Ben Yiftah, the pair headed up Ibn Gvirol Street, where they are suspected of killing Elad residents Yonatan Havakuk and Boaz Gol, both in their 40s, and injuring several others.

Israeli security and rescue personnel work at the scene of a terror attack in Elad, May 5, 2022. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

After a manhunt lasting some 60 hours, the two suspects were found hiding in a bush not far from the scene of the attack.

Al-Rifa’i confessed to security forces that he committed the axe attack with Sbeihat, killing the three men.

According to Channel 13, the two have told investigators that they were not members of Hamas and were not instructed by the terror group to carry out the attack, but instead decided on their own to go on the deadly rampage.

The IDF has since mapped out their homes ahead of a potential demolition, and arrested two other suspects who allegedly helped the pair commit the attack.

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