Israel Arrests Two Palestinians Suspected in Elad Terrorist Attack – The Wall Street Journal.

Israel Arrests Two Palestinians Suspected in Elad Terrorist Attack

Israeli police at the scene of the ax attack in Elad, near Tel Aviv.
atef safadi/Shutterstock

By David S. Cloud + and Adam Rasgon 

TEL AVIV—Two Palestinians suspected of killing three Israelis in a bloody ax attack on Israel’s independence day were captured Sunday after an intensive manhunt, Israeli authorities said.

The suspects were arrested in a wooded area adjacent to a quarry in central Israel not far from the city of Elad, where the attack occurred as independence day celebrations were ending on Thursday.

Video of the arrest circulated on social media and authenticated by Israeli police showed security personnel with guns drawn surrounding a large bush and yelling for the suspects to surrender. The suspects are from a town near Jenin in the West Bank and were being interrogated by Israel’s Shin Bet, officials said.

The attack in a largely Ultraorthodox town adjacent to the occupied West Bank shocked Israel and prompted Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s government to order a nationwide manhunt and to close border crossings between Israel and the West Bank and Gaza.

“The intensive efforts were undertaken immediately following the incident, the deployment of hundreds of police officers and soldiers, and the activation of the means we used forced them to hide and enabled us to find them,” said police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai in a statement.

The Elad attack is the most recent in a wave of attacks against Israelis in recent months that have left at least 18 dead. The United Nations reported that a total of 29 Palestinians have been killed since March 1 during “demonstrations, clashes, search-and-arrest operations and in other circumstances.” Three of the Palestinians killed were accused of carrying out recent terrorist attacks in Israel, according to the U.N.

The victims killed in Elad—Oren Ben Yiftah, 35, Yonatan Havakuk, 44, and Boaz Gol, 40—were buried Friday in funerals marked by a nationwide outpouring of grief. Several other victims were severely injured. Mr. Ben Yiftah, a cab driver from the city of Lod, was killed after driving the attackers to Elad, according to a security official.

“Four days of intelligence and fieldwork ended this morning with the capture of the despicable terrorists who murdered Yonatan, Oren, and Boaz—of blessed memory—in cold blood,” Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said in a tweet.

The two suspects had worked in Elad on construction and electrical projects, according to Haim Lora, a spokesman for the city.

Fatima AbdulKarim contributed to this article.

Write to David S. Cloud at

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