Manhunt continues for Tapuach junction terrorist

Written by on May 5, 2021

Gunfire and explosions were heard for several hours with a live feed of the incident playing out on Facebook.

IDF and medical units at the Tapuah Junction in the West Bank after shots were fired at civilians, May 2, 2021.  (photo credit: UNITED HATZALAH‏)

IDF and medical units at the Tapuah Junction in the West Bank after shots were fired at civilians, May 2, 2021.

(photo credit: UNITED HATZALAH‏)

Israeli security forces surrounded a building in the West Bank village of Aqraba on Wednesday with suspicion that the suspect of the Tapuach junction shooting was inside.

Gunfire and explosions were heard for several hours with a live feed of the incident playing out on Facebook.

By noon however it was reported that the shooter was not inside.

Overnight Wednesday, the wife of Muntasir Shalabi, who is suspected to have shot and wounded three Israelis at the Tapuach Junction on Sunday, was detained. She was later released.

Shalabi’s 17 year-old son was detained by troops in a raid on his village of Turmas Ayya earlier in the day.

Security forces have been going house to house in Akraba and the surrounding villages and have arrested dozens of Palestinians, many of them family members of the suspect, on suspicion that they provided shelter or other support to Shalabi who has since been on the run.

Those arrested for suspected involvement in the attack were handed over to the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency). The IDF confiscated the burnt remnant of the shooter’s bullet-ridden vehicle on Monday.

Concerned that violent attacks could increase along with copy-cat attacks, the IDF has sent reinforcements to the West Bank.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz visited the IDF’s Judea and Samaria Division on Tuesday afternoon and vowed to bring the attackers to justice.

He ordered the military to maintain high vigilance following recent events and ahead of the coming days, which could make the area even more volatile than usual.

“I have ordered a continued state of high alert in the area given the recent incidents,” he said. “Over the course of the past day, Israeli security forces, the IDF and Shin Bet have apprehended a number of suspects in the Tapuah Junction terrorist attack. We will catch the terrorists and settle the score with them.”

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