Israeli forces kill head of terror cell behind West Bank rabbi’s murder


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli security forces shot and killed the Palestinian terrorist behind the murder of an Israeli father of six.

Nearly a month after Rabbi Raziel Shevach was killed in a drive-by attack at the Gilad Farms outpost junction in the northern West Bank, Ahmed Nassar Jarrar, a resident of Jenin, was killed Tuesday morning, the Israel Security Agency, or Shin Bet, said in a statement.

Jarrar was the head of the terrorist cell that perpetrated the Jan. 9 shooting and personally participated in the attack, according to the statement.

Tuesday’s operation was a joint effort of the Israel Security Agency, the Israel Defense Forces and the Israel Police, according to the statement.

Jarrar was killed during an attempt to arrest him in the village of Yamoun, near Jenin, where he was hiding, the statement said. An M-16 rifle and an explosives pack were found with him when he was killed.

Other cell members who have been arrested have told investigators that the cell was involved in other attempts to plan and carry out terror attacks. A gag order has been placed on any additional details, according to the ISA.

In a statement issued after the operation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “I praise the security forces for the determined and complex operation they carried out last night to apprehend the terrorist, who was ultimately eliminated. Several days ago I told Rabbi Raziel Shevach’s widow that we would catch the murderers and last night the mission was completed.”

“The security forces will catch whoever tries to attack Israeli citizens and we will deal with them to the fullest extent of the law. So it will be with the murderers of Rabbi Itamar Ben-Gal,” he said, referring to the Israeli father of four killed Monday afternoon in a stabbing attack in the West Bank settlement of Ariel.

Ben-Gal’s killer, identified as a resident of Jaffa with an Arab-Israeli mother and a Palestinian father, remained at large as of Tuesday morning.

Shevach and Ben-Gal knew each other through mutual friends. Shevach’s widow, Yael, shared a picture of her late husband with Ben-Gal on social media.

“I never thought I would feel like I had a sister,” she wrote. “We’ll get through this together.”

She told Army Radio Tuesday that killing Jarrar will not address the root problem.

“I understand the desire for account-settling, but when it comes with another killing, we haven’t solved the problem,” she said. “So one person has been killed, what about the ones still waiting to kill another Jew?”

Hamas’ military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, claimed on Tuesday that Jarrar was one of its operatives.

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