ISA, IDF and Israel Police have arrested members of the Hamas cell that perpetrated the attack in which Rabbi Eitam Henkin and his wife Naama were murdered while traveling with their four young children.
Following an intelligence and operational effort to locate those involved in the October 1 shooting attack at an Israeli vehicle near Itamar in which Rabbi Eitam Henkin and his wife Naama were murdered while traveling with their four young children, the ISA, IDF and Israel Police have arrested members of the cell that perpetrated the attack. The detainees have been transferred for investigation by the ISA and have admitted their involvement in the murder of the Henkins.
The cell – affiliated with Hamas in Nablus – numbered five terrorists, each of which had a defined role. One terrorist checked the route. Three terrorists were in the attacking vehicle – a driver and two attackers. The cell commander was not in the vehicle. Several additional suspects have been arrested on suspicion of aiding the cell. The cell commander was Raeb Ahmed Muhammad Alivi, born in 1978, and active in Hamas’s military wing. He recruited the members of the cell, instructed them and provided them with weapons.
Members of the cell included:
Yehye Muhammad Naif Abdallah Haj Hamed, born in 1991, a resident of Nablus. A Hamas member, he carried out the shooting in this attack and has been active in others.
Samir Zahir Ibrahim Kusa, born in 1982, a resident of Nablus. A Hamas member, he drove the attacking vehicle.
Kerem Lutfy Fathi Razek, born in 1992, a resident of Nablus. A Hamas member, he set out on the attack armed with a pistol but was mistakenly wounded by his colleague during the carrying out of the attack.
Zid Ziad Jamil Amar, born in 1989, a resident of Nablus. A Hamas member, he checked the route.
Cell members said that on the evening of the attack, two of them traveled on the route and selected the point from which they would open fire. Afterwards they collected the other members, one of which checked the route. Upon hearing that the route was clear, the cell set out, identified the Henkins’ vehicle and opened fire. After the Henkins’ vehicle stopped, two cell members left their vehicle and fired again from very close range. During the shooting, one of the cell members was accidentally shot by one of his colleagues and dropped his pistol, which was left at the scene and found by Israeli forces. After carrying out the shooing, the terrorists fled toward Nablus. The cell members also said that they had been involved in two shooting attacks in recent weeks, neither of which resulted in casualties, including the 30 August attack near the entrance to Kedumim.
The investigation of the cell members is continuing.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this evening (Monday, 5 October 2015), made the following statement:
"I would like to commend the ISA personnel who solved the terrible murder of the Henkins near Nablus. They acted very quickly and also apprehended the murderers. We are acting with a strong hand against terrorism and against inciters. We are operating on all fronts. We have brought an additional four IDF battalions into Judea and Samaria, and thousands of police into Jerusalem. The police are going deeply into the Arab neighborhoods, which has not been done in the past. We will demolish terrorists’ homes. We are allowing our forces to take strong action against those who throw rocks and firebombs. This is necessary in order to safeguard the security of Israeli citizens on the roads and everywhere. We are not prepared to give immunity to any rioter, inciter or terrorist anywhere; therefore, there are no restrictions on the action of our security forces. We will also lift restrictions regarding action against inciters. We will act against the Islamic Movement which, together with Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, is the main source of incitement.
I would like to thank the personnel of the IDF, Border Police, Israel Police and the ISA who have been working around the clock for our security; they are doing excellent work. They have full backing from me and from the government. We are in a difficult struggle but one thing should be clear – we will win. Just as we defeated previous waves of terrorism, we will defeat this one as well."