Israel arrests Palestinians suspected of deadly stabbing attack – Al Jazeera English

The two suspects were detained in a forested area near the attack site in Elad settlement after three-day manhunt.

Israeli forces have arrested two Palestinians who are suspected of killing three people in a stabbing attack last week in the settlement of Elad near Tel Aviv.

The two Palestinians, identified as Asad Yussef al-Rifai, 19, and Subhi Imad Sbeihat, 20, were detained near a quarry not far from the settlement of Elad following a huge manhunt.

“The two terrorists who murdered three Israeli civilians in the deadly attack in the city of Elad have been caught,” the police, army and domestic security agency said in a joint statement on Sunday.

Later, the Israeli forces armed with military vehicles raided their home in Rummaneh village west of Jenin, eyewitnesses told Maan news site.

The stabbings on Thursday occurred on what Israel celebrates as its Independence Day.

For Palestinians, the anniversary of Israel’s 1948 declaration of independence marks the Nakba, or catastrophe, when at least 750,000 people were violently expelled from their homes and villages in historic Palestine.

Elad, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish town, is built on the remains of the Palestinian village al-Muzayriyah, which was ethnically cleansed and destroyed in July 1948.

Israeli forces say at least others were wounded in an axe and knife attack.

Surge in tensions

The stabbing was the latest in a series of deadly assaults deep inside the country in recent weeks. It came as Israeli-Palestinian tensions were already heightened by violence and repeated incursions by Israeli forces at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound – Islam’s third holiest site.

“We will continue to chase determinedly those who wish the worst upon us at all times, and we will reach them,” public security minister Omer Barlev said in a statement.

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.

Police said the attackers were from the town of Jenin in the occupied West Bank, which has re-emerged as a bastion in the latest wave of violence – the worst Israel has seen in years. Several attackers have come from Jenin.

Nearly 30 Palestinians have died in violence since March, including an unarmed woman and two bystanders. Rights groups say Israel often uses excessive force with little to no accountability.

At least 18 Israelis have been killed in five attacks, including another stabbing rampage in southern Israel, two shootings in the Tel Aviv area, and gunfire last weekend at an illegal settlement in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international laws. Successive Israeli governments have built and expanded settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories – a move Palestinians say is aimed at demographic change.

There are between 600,000–750,000 Israeli settlers living in at least 250 settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

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Israel arrests Palestinians suspected of deadly stabbing attack – Al Jazeera English

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