Two Palestinians arrested over April attack on kibbutz near northern West Bank

Yousef Abu al-Roub from village near Jenin confesses to opening fire on Meirav, damaging home; gun provided by 2nd suspect, later handed over to Israeli forces by gunman’s father

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

Mohammed al-Roub, left and Yousef Abu al-Roub,seen in a composite handout photo provided by the Shin Bet on September 3, 2023. (Courtesy)
Mohammed al-Roub, left and Yousef Abu al-Roub,seen in a composite handout photo provided by the Shin Bet on September 3, 2023. (Courtesy)

The Shin Bet security agency on Sunday announced that Israeli forces had arrested a Palestinian gunman suspected of carrying out a shooting attack targeting Kibbutz Meirav, adjacent to the northern West Bank border barrier, in April.

Yousef Abu al-Roub, 32, from the village of Jalbun, near Jenin in the northern West Bank, allegedly opened fire at the town on April 18, damaging a home.

The Shin Bet said a second suspect, Mohammed al-Roub, 35, affiliated with the Islamic State terror group, was arrested for allegedly supplying the gun to al-Roub. Mohammed had been previously detained by Israel for various terror offenses, the agency said.

The weapon, a makeshift Carlo submachine gun, was handed over to security forces at the Salem checkpoint by Yousef’s father, the Shin Bet said.

Yousef confessed to having carried out the attack and told interrogators that he had taken pictures of the kibbutz over the course of several months and sent them to Mohammed.

He claimed he had also carried out a string of shootings against Israeli forces in the area, the Shin Bet said, without confirming the claim.

A ‘Carlo’ makeshift submachine gun used in an attack against the northern town of Meirav, on April 18, 2023. (Shin Bet)

Both were charged last week with serious security offenses, the agency added.

The local regional council said the gunfire in the April 18 attack apparently came from Jalbun. No injuries were caused, but one home in the community was struck.

Earlier in April, several homes in nearby Kibbutz Ma’ale Gilboa were damaged by bullets. An offshoot of Islamic Jihad, which took responsibility for the attack, claimed at the time that the targeted homes were in Meirav.

While shooting attacks targeting Israelis take place periodically, they more frequently take place inside the Green Line, and the targeting of Israeli civilians inside Israel proper is less common.

Violence has surged across the West Bank over the past year and a half, with a rise in Palestinian shooting attacks against Israeli civilians and troops, near-nightly arrest raids by the military, and an uptick in revenge attacks by extremist Jewish settlers against Palestinians.

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