Israeli police identify 2 Palestinians as suspects in Elad attack
Jerusalem, May 6 (EFE).- The Israeli police Friday identified two Palestinians as suspects in an attack in the central city of Elad that left three people dead a day ago.
The police have launched a massive search operation for the alleged perpetrators from Jenin, north of the occupied West Bank.
Police identified the two suspects as Yosef Assad al-Rafai, 19, and Tzabahi Abu Shakir, 20.
A police spokesperson said security forces carried out an intense activity in the Elad area since Thursday night to arrest the two Jenin residents suspected of carrying out the attack.
The attack came on Independence Day, marking the founding of Israel.
The attackers targeted passers-by in an Elad park last night, with at least one of them carrying an ax.
Elad is a city near Tel Aviv whose inhabitants are mostly ultra-orthodox Jews.
Medics identified the three victims – all in their 40s – as Yonatan Havakuk, Boaz Gol, and Oren Ben Yiftah.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett vowed that security forces would get to the attackers, no matter where they would be hiding.
“Our enemies have embarked on a murderous campaign against Jews wherever they are. Their goal is to break our spirit but they will fail,” Bennett said.
“We will get our hands on the terrorists and those who aid and abet them and ensure they pay the price. I offer my deepest condolences to the families of those who were murdered.”
Benet held a meeting last night to assess the situation with the ministers of defense, foreign affairs, and public security.
The army has said it would extend the closure of the occupied West Bank and Gaza until Sunday.
The closure was put in place on Tuesday for Memorial Day and Independence Day. It was supposed to end overnight Thursday-Friday.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, even as the Islamist Hamas movement that governs Gaza has praised the assailants.
Another Islamist militia, the Islamic Jihad, praised the Elad attack as a “heroic operation.”
Israel has suffered six attacks by Palestinians since March-end, in which 18 people have died.
However, the military wing of Hamas, which has called for armed mobilization against Israel, claimed only one that occurred a week ago in the Jewish settlement of Ariel.