West Bank shops shut down in solidarity with killed fugitive gunman
While on the run after killing soldier, Udai Tamimi acquired folk hero status among some Palestinians, including young men who shaved their heads to mimic his look
Shops, offices and schools were closed across the West Bank on Thursday as Palestinians went on strike to protest the death of a man suspected of a deadly attack against Israeli forces.
Udai Tamimi, who had been on the run since the fatal shooting this month of Sgt. Noa Lazar at a checkpoint in East Jerusalem, was killed late Wednesday after he fired at Israelis on the edge of the Maale Adumim settlement.
Omar Abed al-Latif Omar, a resident of the West Bank city of Tulkarem, told AFP the strike was intended as “a message” of solidarity with Tamimi.
AFP journalists also saw shuttered shops in the West Bank cities of Bethlehem and Nablus, as well as Jerusalem’s Old City.
Tamimi, 22, fled the scene of the attack on Lazar earlier this month. He was thought by police to have been hiding in the Shuafat refugee camp since then.
Police on Tuesday morning arrested eight Palestinians, residents of the Shuafat refugee camp and the nearby West Bank town of Anata, suspected of aiding Tamimi in his escape.
The heavy police activity in Shuafat and a partial closure on the area after the attack led to days of rioting in the refugee camp and other Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.
The 10-day pursuit of Tamimi had resulted in lockdowns affecting schools, health centers and other services in the camp that is home to thousands, and clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians.
While on the run, he acquired folk hero status among some Palestinians, including young men who shaved their heads to mimic his look.
Prime Minister Yair Lapid hailed the killing of Tamimi, and sent well wishes to a guard wounded in Wednesday’s attack, in a statement published by his office.
“We will not rest until we lay our hands on every terrorist who harms Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers. We will act with an iron hand and without hesitation against terrorism,” Lapid said.
Israeli forces have ratcheted up arrest raids and counterterror efforts in the West Bank since a spate of terror attacks against Israelis in the spring killed 19 people.
The anti-terror offensive launched earlier this year by Israel has netted more than 2,000 arrests during the near-nightly raids in Palestinian cities, towns, and villages.
It has also left 123 Palestinians dead, many of them while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces.
Emanuel Fabian contributed to this report.