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West Bank shooter identified as PA intel officer

Mazen Aribe, an East Jerusalem father of 4, was a member of Palestinian Authority’s security forces, sources say

Tamar Pileggi is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Israeli security forces and forensics transport the body of Mazen Aribe, who was shot following an attack at the Hizme checkpoint, north of Jerusalem, on December 3, 2015. (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)
Israeli security forces and forensics transport the body of Mazen Aribe, who was shot following an attack at the Hizme checkpoint, north of Jerusalem, on December 3, 2015. (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)

Palestinian security sources have identified the man who carried out a shooting attack at a checkpoint north of Jerusalem Thursday morning as a member of the Palestinian Authority security forces.

The sources said the terrorist was Mazen Aribe, a 37-year-old father of four from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Dis, but did not say what rank he held in the West Bank’s security apparatus.

According to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency, the PA liaison department identified Aribe as a PA intelligence officer who dealt with prisoner affairs.

It is unusual for Palestinian security agents to be implicated in such attacks. Most of the attackers in a recent wave of violence have been young Palestinians, including teenagers.

A spokesman for the PA security forces told Haaretz there would be no official comment on Aribe until his body was returned to the West Bank and could be identified.

Aribe was shot dead by Israeli soldiers after he opened fire at the Hizme checkpoint on Thursday morning, the IDF said.

“A gunman stopped at a checkpoint near Hizmeh, exited his vehicle and shot forces at the site,” an army statement said. “The forces responded, shooting the attacker and resulting in his death.”

A soldier and an Israeli Arab civilian sustained light to moderate injuries in the attack. They were taken to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem for treatment.

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Since October 1, some 20 Israelis have been killed amid a wave of stabbing, shooting and car-ramming attacks by Palestinians. Over 100 Palestinians have also died, most while carrying out, or trying to carry out, attacks against Israelis.

AFP contributed to this report.

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