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Two Palestinians indicted for deadly Ariel terrorist attack in April

Youssef Sameeh Assi and Yahya Marei charged with murder for shooting at settlement entrance that killed security guard Vyacheslav Golev

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

Yousef Sameeh Assi and Yahya Marei, arrested in the Palestinian town of Qarawat Bani Hassan on April 30, 2022, for a terror attack on April 29 at the entrance to the Ariel settlement in which security guard Vyacheslav Golev was killed. (Israel TV screenshot; used in accordance with clause 27a of the Copyright law)
Yousef Sameeh Assi and Yahya Marei, arrested in the Palestinian town of Qarawat Bani Hassan on April 30, 2022, for a terror attack on April 29 at the entrance to the Ariel settlement in which security guard Vyacheslav Golev was killed. (Israel TV screenshot; used in accordance with clause 27a of the Copyright law)

Military prosecutors on Tuesday filed indictments against two Palestinians accused of carrying out a deadly shooting attack in Ariel in April.

Vyacheslav Golev, 23, was gunned down inside a guard booth at a gate to the West Bank settlement on April 29 by Palestinian assailants Youssef Sameeh Assi and Yahya Marei, according to the prosecutors.

Golev used his body to shield his fiancée, Victoria Fligelman, from the hail of bullets, saving her life. The couple both worked as security guards at the settlement and would regularly do their shifts together.

Assi and Marei were charged with intentionally causing the death of Golev. The charge is equivalent to murder in West Bank military courts. They were also charged with the attempted murder of Fligelman.

According to the indictment, the pair decided to carry out the attack after hearing reports of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces.

The two purchased weapons —  improvised Carlo submachine guns — and a vehicle to carry out the attack. The incitement said they decided on the Ariel entrance, on a weekend night, because “they thought it would be the best way they could carry out their plan and escape from the area.”

The two were arrested in their hometown of Qarawat Bani Hassan a day later.

An undated photo of Vyacheslav Golev, a security guard who was killed in a terror attack at Ariel on April 29, 2022, and his fiancée, Victoria Fligelman. (Courtesy)

The army also filed an indictment against the brother of one of the gunmen, who was charged with failing to prevent the attack as well as helping the pair hide afterward.

All three will remain under arrest until the end of legal proceedings.

On May 7, Assi’s and Marei’s families were informed that their homes in the West Bank town of Qarawat Bani Hassan were slated for demolition. Last week, the High Court of Justice rejected appeals filed against the demolition on behalf of their families.

Israeli security and rescue personnel at the scene of a shooting attack, at the entrance to Ariel, in the West Bank, on April 30, 2022. (Flash90)

As a matter of policy, Israel demolishes the homes of Palestinians accused of carrying out deadly terror attacks. The efficacy of the policy is controversial within the Israeli security establishment, and human rights activists have denounced it as unfair collective punishment. Israeli law does not require attackers to have been convicted before their homes are demolished.

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