2015 Shvut Rachel shooting

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2015 Shvut Rachel shooting
Location Route 60
Date 29 June 2015
Attack type
shooting
Deaths 1
Non-fatal injuries
3
Perpetrators Abdallah As’hak, Faiz Ahmed (indicted)

On 29 June 2015, Hamas gunmen opened fire on a civilian vehicle moving along Israeli Route 60 near Shvut Rachel in the West Bank. Four Israelis in the car were wounded and rushed to hospital, where one died. The suspects were later arrested.

Shootings[edit]

The shooting took place after dark on Monday, 29 June 2015, on Highway 60 near Alon Shvut.[1][2][3][4][5] The victims attempted to escape, but the assailants' automatic weapons had disabled the car they were driving.[6]

According to Israeli security services, the same Hamas militant cell that carried out this attack, had fired, two days prior, at several vehicles including an ambulance on a road near Beitin, without causing casualties.[7][8] News accounts frequently pair this attack with the Shooting of Danny Gonen.[9]

Claims of responsibility[edit]

The Palestinian militant groups Fatah al-Intifada, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades (the military wing of Hamas) each claimed to have carried out the shooting.[10]

Victims[edit]

Malachi Rosenfeld (Malakhi Rosenfeld, Malachy Rosenfeld) died of his wounds at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center.[11] Rosenfeld was a student, enrolled in the joint philosophy and economics program at the Hebrew University.[10] Yair Hooper, sustained injuries to his torso and lower body. The two other Israelis of the car were also injured. All four were taken to Hadassah Hospital, Ein Kerem for treatment.[12]

All four victims lived in Kokhav HaShahar.[6] The four were recreational basketball players, driving home after a game.[6][13] Rosenfeld was buried in Kohav HaSharar on July 1, 2015.[4]

Suspects[edit]

Seven Palestinians were arrested on suspicion of being members of the Hamas militant network involved in the attack.[7][14] Six of the seven were from Silwad, and the seventh was from Qusra.[7] Some of the arrests were made by the security forces of the Palestinian Authority.[8] Among those arrested were Amjad Najar, Maad Hamad (who authorities suspected of being the shooter), Abdallah Atzhak (a former prisoner and suspected driver of the get-away car), Faaz Hamad (a known Hamas operative, who confessed), and Jamal Younes (who confessed to having the car used by the cell to a wrecking yard and to and helping the group acquire weapons).[8][15] This so-called "Silwad cell" is known to have carried out three shooting attacks in the Binyamin region.[16]

Security officials stated that Ahmed Najar wired funds to the group through his brother Amjad Najar, who lived in Silwad.[8] Black market prices for weapons and ammunition in the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas have been rising, necessitating outside funding for the operation.[17][18] A Kalashnikov rifle sold at the time for $6,400 (24,000 shekels) and bullets sold for 12 shekels each.[18]

Hamas militant cell operated from Jordan[edit]

Among the suspected perpetrators were Ahmed Najar (b. 1976)[19][20][21] (Ahmed Mustafa Saleh Hamed al-Najar), a Hamas militant accused of funding and masterminding the shooting.[7][22] Najar (b. 1976), of Silwad, a resident of Jordan, was previously convicted of murdering six Israelis.[15] He served multiple terms in Israeli prisons, most recently from December 2003 to October 2011, before being released in the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange.[15][23][24] Najar was released into Hamas-ruled Gaza, but he had moved from Gaza to Jordan, and is alleged to have planned and supported the attack from Jordan.[25][26] The cell was one among "no fewer than (150) cells in the West Bank," remotely operated from either Gaza or Turkey.[27]

The fact that this raid was directed by a Hamas operative in Jordan raised concerns within the Israeli security establishment that Jordan might have softened its opposition to allowing Hamas to operate in Jordanian territory.[9]

Hamas militant network operated from Turkey[edit]

Hamas operative Saleh al-Arouri, a Palestinian resident of Turkey, is accused of being the overall mastermind of this attack.[7][8][9] He "coordinated" the terror slaying of Malachi Rosenberg.[21]

Legal proceedings[edit]

Indictments[edit]

Abdallah As’hak and Faiz Ahmed were indicted for the murder.[28][29]

In September, Palestinian Authority officials were known to be holding two suspects charges with Rosenfeld's murder, this is part of a broad Palestinian Authority crackdown on Hamas activity in Palestinian Authority controlled territory.[30]

Impact[edit]

In November 2015, the house of one of the killers, Maad Hamed of Kfar Silwad, was demolished under an Israeli court order.[31]

Following the event MK Nissan Slomiansky requested that the government respond to the attack by granting regional TABA (land designation)s to allow the construction of new housing units in Shvut Rachel.[32] MK Yoel Hasson argued against granting the new building permits.[33]

There was speculation that the Duma village arson attack might have been undertaken in revenge for the murder of Malachi Rosenberg.[34][35]

The incident has raised concern in Israel about the extent to which the policies of the Abbas government actually incite terrorism and violence.[36]

An illegal settlement named "Malachei Shalom" (Hebrew for Angels of Peace) in memory of the murdered man, Malachi Rosenfeld, was created, but rapidly evacuated by Israeli security forces.[37]

Ramadan security crackdown[edit]

Ramadan saw an unusual series of violent incidents, including a knife attack on a policeman in Jerusalem, a knife attack on a soldier guarding Rachel's Tomb, shootings in the Jordan Valley and near Beit El, and the Shooting of Danny Gonen.[18] General Nitzan Alon speculated that the attacks might be timed to take place during Ramadan;[13] Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin condemned the "spate of terror attacks against Israelis during the month of Ramadan."[38] Israel responded to the spate of shootings, stabbings, and rocket attacks by revoking large numbers of Palestinian travel permits.[39] And by restricting Muslim access to the Temple Mount.[12]

Prisoner exchanges[edit]

The shooting has figured largely in the ongoing Israeli political debate over the release of convicted militants.[25][26] Rosenfeld was the sixth Israeli to be killed in 2014 and 2015 by convicted militants released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange.[40][41][42] Hamas militant attacks in the Palestinian Authority controlled areas of the West Bank are said to be operated by former prisoners now living in Gaza.[40]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Harel, Amos (2 October 2015). "No Easy Way to Quell Violence as West Bank Tensions". Haaretz. Retrieved 2 October 2015. 
  2. ^ Kershner, Isabel (1 October 2015). "Palestinian Gunmen Kill Israeli Parents of 4 in West Bank". New York Times. Retrieved 2 October 2015. 
  3. ^ Kershner, Isabel (30 June 2015). "Israeli Man Dies in Attack Near West Bank Settlement". New York Times. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Williams, Dan (1 July 2015). "Israeli dies from wounds in West Bank shooting". Reuters. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  5. ^ "Shooting wounds four Israelis near West Bank settlement". Al Arabiya. AFP. 30 June 2015. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c Gross, Judah (30 June 2015). "Father of critical drive-by shooting victim calls for prayers". Times of Israel. TOI staff; AFP. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "Members of Hamas network arrested for murder of Israeli settler". Telegraph. AFP. 21 July 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Cohen, Gili (19 July 2014). "Shin Bet: Hamas members behind deadly West Bank shooting arrested". Haaretz. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c Limor, YoavLimor (20 July 2015). "Hamas cell arrested over deadly Shvut Rachel terrorist attack". Israel HaYom. Retrieved 23 July 2015. 
  10. ^ a b Hasson, Nir (30 June 2015). "Israeli man succumbs to wounds following West Bank shooting". Haaretz. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  11. ^ Niran, Ben (30 June 2015). "Three Terror Victims Still Hospitalized After Malachi Rosenfeld Dies of Wounds". Jewish Press. Tazpit. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  12. ^ a b Marissa, Newman (30 June 2015). "Israel limits Temple Mount access after West Bank shooting". Times of Israel. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  13. ^ a b Booth, William (3 July 2015). "A wave of recent attacks by Palestinians sets Israelis on edge". Washingotn Post. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  14. ^ Kershner, Isabel (19 July 2015). "Israel Arrests 4 Palestinians in West Bank Shooting". New York Times. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  15. ^ a b c "ISA & IDF apprehend terror cell responsible for shooting attacks". mfa.gov.il. Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  16. ^ Ben-David, Alon (4 October 2015). "Analysis: The dramatic rise of 'grassroots' terror in Jerusalem and the West Bank". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  17. ^ Newman, Marissa (1 July 2015). "Love, terror and basketball". Times of Israel. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  18. ^ a b c Harel, Amos (1 July 2015). "Latest string of attacks points to a Palestinian terror cell, not lone wolves". Haaretz. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  19. ^ "Handling Hamas networks in Judea and Samaria from abroad as part of Hamas's effort to carry out terrorist attacks against Israel". Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center. 8 August 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  20. ^ "Full list of 477 Palestinian prisoners scheduled for release in the first round of swaps for Gilad Shalit". AlJazeera. 16 October 2011. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  21. ^ a b Avi Issacharoff, Avi (12 August 2015). "Israel foiled 17 suicide attacks so far this year, Shin Bet says". Times of Israel. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  22. ^ "Arrestado comando palestino queasesinó a israelí el mes pasado". El Diario. EFE. 19 July 2015. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  23. ^ Lappin, Yaakov (16 October 2011). "Prisoner list includes planners of mass atrocities". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  24. ^ "'Hamas members' held over West Bank murder: Israel". Daily Mail. 19 July 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  25. ^ a b Harel, Amos (20 June 2015). "West Bank murder arrest: A reminder of Shalit deal's price". Haaretz. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  26. ^ a b Gradstein, Linda (20 June 2015). "Six Israelis killed by prisoners released in Shalit deal". Jewish Journal. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  27. ^ Lappin, Yaakov (27 July 2015). "No sign of impending intifada despite rise in shootings". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  28. ^ "5 Palestinians indicted in deadly West Bank attacks". TimesofIsrael. 17 August 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  29. ^ Stahl, Julie (18 August 2015). "Palestinian Stabbings 'Disturbing New Pattern'". CBN. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  30. ^ Hass, Amira (28 August 2015). "Denying Political Persecution, PA Continues Large-scale Arrests of Hamas Members". Haaretz. Retrieved 21 September 2015. 
  31. ^ "IDF troops kill three gunmen after coming under fire during home demolition". Jerusalem Post. 16 November 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2016. 
  32. ^ "סלומינסקי לנתניהו: לאשר תב"ע ביישוב שבות רחל בעקבות הפיגוע" (in Hebrew). 1 July 2015. 
  33. ^ Harari, Orli (1 July 2015). "Leftist MK Rages Against Building as Response to Terror". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  34. ^ Martin, Patrick (31 July 2015). "Palestinian child's death in terrorist attack stirs call to end violence". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  35. ^ "Editorial: Mideast study in contrasts". Boston Herald. 10 January 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2016. 
  36. ^ "Jerusalem Post Editorial: After Abbas". Jerusalem Post. 12 August 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  37. ^ Cohen, Gili (3 August 2015). "Settlers Took Over Abandoned Army Base". Haaretz. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  38. ^ Cashman, Greer Fay (30 June 2015). "Rivlin: Ramadan has become month of worldwide terror". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  39. ^ Cohen, Gili (22 June 2015). "Israel revokes Ramadan perks and permits in wake of terror attacks". Haaretz. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  40. ^ a b Pilegg, Tamar (20 July 2015). "Palestinians freed in Shalit deal killed 6 Israelis since 2014". Times of Israel. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  41. ^ Eldar, Shlomi (21 July 2015). "Israel's failed prisoner release policies". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  42. ^ Davidowich, Joshua (20 July 2015). "Oh, the places you won't go". Times of Israel. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 

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