The Israeli Police on Sunday said it has captured two Palestinians who stabbed to death three Israelis in Elad town on Thursday when the country was celebrating its Independence Day.
At least four others had been wounded in the stabbing rampage, following which Israeli authorities launched a massive manhunt to nab the suspects who fled the scene after the attack.
The two suspects, earlier identified as 19-year-old Assad Yosef Assad Al-Rafa'i and 20-year-old Tzabahi Imad Tzabhi Abu Shakir, were arrested from near a quarry near Elad.
The Israeli authorities shared in a statement that the two belonged to West Bank's Jenin town, which has re-emerged as a militant bastion in the latest wave of violence — the worst Israel has seen in years. Several of the attackers in the recent violence have come from Jenin.
כוחות גדולים של משטרת ישראל ושירות הביטחון הכללי פועלים בשעה זו לאיתור שני החשודים בביצוע הפיגוע באלעד. החשודים הם אסעד יוסף אסעד אלרפאעי (19) וצבחי עמאד צבחי אבו שקיר (20), תושבי הכפר רומאנה שבמחוז ג’נין. יש לדווח למוקד 100 על מידע הנוגע למקום הימצאם pic.twitter.com/fN8Xe5vW2U— משטרת ישראל (@IL_police) May 6, 2022
The Thursday's attack was the latest in the long line of Palestinian attacks inside Israel that have killed at least 18 Israelis in last two months. These attacks have involved stabbings as well as shootings. A total of 27 Palestinians have been killed as well in this period. While most of them were those who carried out attacks against Israelis, an unarmed woman and two apparent bystanders were also among those killed and rights groups have said Israel often uses excessive force.
The tensions from these attacks have also been escalated by violence at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, which is the third holiest site of Muslims built on a hilltop that's holiest for Jews who refer to it as Temple Mount. Over 150 people were injured in clashes between the Israeli Police and Palestinians at the site on April 15.
Public Security Minister Omer Barlev said in a statement, “We will continue to chase determinedly those who wish the worst upon us at all times, and we will reach them.”
A joint statement by police, the military and the Shin Bet internal security agency said the two mena arrested following a search that began on Thursday by special forces and commando units using helicopters and other means. As forces scoured the area looking for the men, police called on the public to avoid the area, and urged Israelis to report suspicious vehicles or people to them.
(With AP inputs)