General Security Services in partnership with soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) killed the murderers of Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai. All three were convicted terrorists who had been committed to and later released from Israeli prisons.
Chai, 45, was murdered by Arabs in a drive by shooting while chauffeuring his wife and one of their children in their family car, between Shavei Shomron and Einav.
The Israeli military operation took place on the evening of December 25, the Jewish Sabbath. PA head Mahmoud Abbas was not forewarned of the mission.
The homes of three men known to have taken part in the murder were surrounded by special forces units, who tried to arrest them. According to an army spokesperson, the men "refused to cooperate", rejecting calls to surrender. Troops subequently opened fire on the buildings.
Nader Raed Sukarji, a 40 year-old inhabitant of Shechem, was arrested in 2002 and suspected of being a top Al Aksa terror group brigade operative and participant in many terror attacks. He also prepared bombs and helped establish explosives factories in Nablus (Shechem). He was released from prison in January 2009.
Palestinian sources say Sukarji's wife was also injured in the operation, after her husband used her as a human shield while hiding in their house.
Ghassan Abu Sharkh, 39, was imprisoned by security forces in 1990. His brother, Nayef, was the head of the Tanzim terror organization's military wing in Nablus. Nayef facilitated several terror attacks until being killed by IDF forces in June 2004.
Anan Suleiman Mustafa Subih, 36, resident of Nablus, was an operative of the "Shuhada al-Aksa" brigade, which was involved in extensive Tanzim military operations as a cell of Tanzim in Nablus. The group was led by Nayef Abu Sharkh, until Nayef's death. Subih worked in trafficking weapons and supplies for use in terror acts.
Subih had recently been accepted to Israel's amnesty program for Fatah gunmen. His participation in Tanzim activity was a direct violation of that agreement.
In the process of attempting to arrest Subih, Israeli forces found 2 rifles and 2 guns hidden in the house. The weapons have been transferred to police laboratories to determine if they were the ones used to kill Rabbi Chai.
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad condemned the IDF operation in Shechem, saying it would hurt the Palestinian ability to achieve stability and security. Terror organizations swore they would take revenge for the operation.
National Union chairman MK Yaakov "Ketzaleh" Katz demanded the indictment of the judges of the Supreme Court, for having released the men from jail who went on to commit the murder of Rabbbi Chai and other terror attacks. "[...] prosecute the Supreme Court justices who took part in the freeing of the murderers of Rabbi Meir Chai (may G-d avenge his blood), although they were warned that these men would return to killing," Katz said. "This is the only way we can bring the infamous releases of our people's murderers to an end."
CEO Meir Indor of the organization representing terror victims, Almagor, praised the army's mission, but is urging citizens to contact the Defense Minister's office and demand a cessation to the release and pardon of terrorists. He says the government should re-evaluate its relationship with the PA leadership, claiming that the PA leaks information, training, and arms to Tanzim terrorists on a regular basis.