Terrorists from Elad still at large, victims hospitalized in critical condition

May 8, 2022 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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The two Arab terrorists who carried out the terror attack on Thursday evening at the city of Elad are still at large, and Israel’s security forces are focusing their manhunt on the wooded areas near the city.

Israeli security forces in action. (IDF)

Police forces, in cooperation with the Shin Bet security agency and other special units, are conducting a systematic manhunt in the Elad area, searching for the two terrorists, residents of the Jenin area, who are suspected of carrying out the attack in the city in which three Jews were murdered, and three others were severely injured.

The two terrorists who fled the scene were identified as Assad Yussef Al-Rafa’i, 19, and Tzabhi Imad Abu Shakir, 20. In a rare occurrence, the police published their names and photos to warn the public against them.

The Shin Bet cleared for publication that Oren Ben Yiftach, one of the victims of the attack, drove the terrorists to the scene, and upon their arrival at the site, brutally murdered him.

In the meantime, two victims hospitalized with severe head injuries are still in critical condition. The victims, a 75-year-old man and another in his 40s, are hospitalised in Beilinson Hospital in stable condition and on life support. Their lives are currently not in danger, the hospital said.

The IDF’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced Saturday night that the closure that was imposed on Judea and Samaria and on the Gaza Strip ahead of the Independence Day celebrations in Israel will be extended at least until Monday.

“During the closure, passage will be possible only in humanitarian, medical and exceptional cases and subject to the approval of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories,” the IDF stated.

The attack on Thursday evening, which began as Israel was concluding its 74th Independence Day celebrations, occurred at the centre of the city, where the two terrorists, in Israel illegally, had previously worked at a construction site.

Running through the streets with axes, the terrorists killed Yonatan Havakuk, a father of five Boaz Gol, a father of five, and Oren Ben Yiftach, a father of six, and wounded several others. They are believed to have fled the scene in a vehicle.

The three were laid to rest in Friday.

The massacre in Elad was the seventh deadly attack in Israel in as many weeks and occurred less than a week after the latest attack in which Vyacheslav Golev, a security guard, was murdered in a shooting in Ariel in Samaria.

In the attack before that, a terrorist from Jenin shot and killed three Israelis in the heart of Tel Aviv. Before that, a terrorist from Yabed shot and killed five people in the city of Bnei Brak. In the second attack, two Islamist terrorists shot and killed two Israelis in the city of Hadera. In Be’er Sheva, a terrorist stabbed and murdered four Israelis. Jerusalem has been the scene of several attacks as well.

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