IDF soldiers carried out intensive search operations in the city of Hevron overnight and Monday morning, following the murder on Sunday of a soldier, First Sergeant Gal Kobi Hy”d, by a sniper.
The forces combing the city found two hunting rifles in the course of their operations. Two Arabs were arrested and handed over to the Shin Bet for interrogation, and the rifles were confiscated. It is not known if there is a connection between the rifles and the sniper attack that killed First Sgt. Kobi.
The IDF arrested ten other wanted men in the course of the night. Three were arrested in Shechem. A Kfir Regiment unit arrested five others at Abud, northwest of Ramallah. Two more suspects were nabbed inside Ramallah and in Silwad, northeast of Ramallah.
All the suspects are under interrogation.
IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai said Monday, however, that the latest killings of two soldiers do not indicate an escalation in Judea and Samaria.
"Our assessment this morning stands as it was – that we are talking about isolated incidents,” he told IDF Radio, the military's radio station.
"Both the incident involving Tomer [Hazan] z”l, and the incident involving Gal [Kobi] z”l, are isolated incidents, and we still do not see a general change of direction,” he said.
"And yet,” he said, “we continue to be highly alert and we will not let go of the effort to safeguard the security of the citizens of Israel.”