Palestinian Fatah calls on locals to delete evidence of terror attack

Written by on May 5, 2021

Fatah’s Nablus branch called on Palestinians living and working in the vicinity of the terror attack on Sunday, in which three Jewish teenagers were shot at close range in a drive-by shooting in the West Bank, to delete security footage of the assault in order to stymie attempts by Israeli security forces to locate the terrorist, according to Palestinian Media Watch.

A Palestinian gunman shot and wounded three 19-year-old seminary students at the Tapuah Junction in the Samaria region of the West Bank on Saturday. Two of the three victims remained in Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus in Petah Tikva on Tuesday in serious condition, while the third victim was released. All three study at the Itamar Yeshiva.

The IDF believes the shooting to be a lone-wolf attack.

Fatah Nablus made a post on its official Facebook page, within hours of the attack, calling on “honored” members of the Palestinian community to delete the security footage so that the suspect at large could escape.

“Our lauded people, honored members of our people, we call on you to get rid of the contents that were stored in the [security] cameras of your homes or your businesses today, and not to transfer any media content among yourselves that the occupation is spreading,” it asked the public.

“Members of our people in the towns and villages in the southern Nablus district who are standing firm, we salute you for your stand alongside those who were caught in a dead-end from among our people that gives much of itself,” it added.

“We salute you and your struggle,” Fatah Nablus concluded, signing: “The Fatah Movement, Nablus branch.”

Besides the branch’s controversial calls to delete security footage of the event in support of the terrorist, it later made an insidious call for further terror attacks, saying that terror itself is the “right of the Palestinian people.”

“The Fatah Movement’s Nablus branch emphasized that resistance is a natural right of the Palestinian people against the Zionist arrogance and the attacks against our people wherever they are, and particularly in Jerusalem,” the branch said, blaming the violence on Israel.

“In a press release issued by its information office today, Sunday, Fatah emphasized that the Palestinian people will not leave Jerusalem alone against the occupation forces and its settler herds,” it said.

PALESTINIAN MEDIA Watch director Itamar Marcus highlighted that while the Palestinian Authority and Fatah denounce terror in English, they “routinely support, honor and encourage terrorists” in Arabic to terrorize Israeli citizens.

Despite the efforts of the Nablus branch to aid the Palestinian terrorist, the suspect was identified as Muntasar A-Shalabi, a Hamas operative from the town of Turmus Aiya, near Ramallah, Channel 12 reported citing Palestinian media reports. Shalabi had recently returned from living in the US, the report said.

As part of its efforts to locate the suspected terrorist, Israeli security forces on Tuesday arrested dozens of Palestinians suspected of aiding him. One of those arrested was Shalabi’s wife, who was brought in for questioning but later released Wednesday morning. Another was his 17-year-old son, who was captured in a raid on the suspect’s village earlier in the day.

The city of Akraba, where the burnt remnant of the alleged shooter’s bullet-ridden car was found, has for the time being been placed under lockdown while Israeli forces have been going door to door, scanning the area for the terrorist and 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 were transferred to the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency).

“As part of the extensive intelligence and operational activities of the IDF, the Shin Bet and the Israel Police to apprehend the terrorists who carried out the shooting attack at Tapuah Junction in which three civilians were wounded, IDF fighters arrested several suspects in the area” overnight on Monday, the IDF said. “In addition, the forces confiscated the suspicious vehicle used to carry out the attack. The IDF, Shin Bet and Israel Police will continue to pursue the terrorists.”

THE RECENT wave of violence that erupted between Jewish extremists and Arab populations in Jerusalem in recent weeks has snowballed into a malicious medley of terror attacks, violent clashes, rocket fire from the Gaza Strip and a swell of blame passed between the warring factions. Both sides believe the other is in the wrong.

The terror attack itself created a domino effect of violence that has now stretched outside of Jerusalem, with Jewish extremists, presumed to be settlers, vandalizing Palestinian vehicles and homes, mainly in the village of Jalud, near Nablus. The Jewish extremists have also thrown stones at Palestinians, lightly injuring two, according to reports from the left-wing organization Yesh Din.

Clashes also broke out between Palestinians and the IDF during the manhunt, including on Sunday in the town of Beita, near Nablus, where the search was originally focused.

Settlers are also intentionally constructing unauthorized outposts near where the terror attack took place, a clear indication of their discontent and a move that could spark further violence within the area.

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

Defense Minister Benny Gantz 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.

Anna Ahronheim and Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.

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