Police: Checkpoint removal not connected to attack
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Police: Checkpoint removal not connected to attack

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The fatal shooting of two Israeli policemen in the Jordan Valley is not connected to the removal of a checkpoint, an Israeli police commander said.

The West Bank District Police commander made the comments to Army Radio on Monday.

The  patrol officers — David Rabinovitch, 42, and Yehezkel Ramzarker, 50 — were shot at close range in their patrol car while driving near the settlement of Masua, in the northern West Bank, on Sunday night. Earlier that day the Beit-Iba crossing, located northwest of Nablus, was opened to ease passage for Palestinians from Nablus to Jenin and Tulkarm.

Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told several media outlets that it is possible the gunmen used the open checkpoint, which has been operating since 2001, to make their escape easier.

A group calling itself the Imad Mughniyeh Group claimed responsibility for the attack.