Hevron Murderer Caught: Terrorist Freed in Shalit Deal
A media gag order was lifted on Monday, revealing that the murderer of Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrahi Hy''d in April was a released terrorist who had gone free in the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner swap.
The terrorist, Ziyad Awad, was arrested a month ago by Yamam special forces, along with his 18-year-old son in Tarkumiya, a village to the north west of Hevron.
A report on the arrest in Hebrew, along with footage from the helmet cameras of the soldiers involved in the arrest, can be seen here:
The police report that exact intelligence information helped track down the perpetrator, who was one of the 1,027 terrorists freed in the Shalit deal. He was apprehended at his home in Idna village.
In the arrest, Yamam forces surrounded the home and called on Awad to come out, which he did without opposition.
Detailed police forensics work on the more than fifty bullet casings, which were all found to have come from one weapon, and an ammo magazine found at the scene of the murder which had finger prints out it, along with other DNA evidence allowed the revelation of the terrorist's identity.
The Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet) announced that investigations revealed Awad had obtained a motorcycle and Kalashnikov rifle so as to commit the terror attack. He arrived in the Hevron area outside Kiryat Arba where the shooting occurred a week in advance to plan where he would stand while shooting, to collect information and scout the area.
Mizrahi was driving to Kiryat Arba for a Passover seder meal with his pregnant wife and three of his children when the terrorist opened fire on the family car. He served as head of the Technology Division in the Sigint Unit, part of the Intelligence Brigade in the Investigations and Intelligence Branch of the police.
Murdering for Islam
After the attack, Awad reportedly told his son Az Adin that his motive for murdering Mizrahi was religious, and that "according to the religion of Islam, everyone who kills a Jews goes to paradise."
Counter-terrorism squads of the Judea and Samaria police division cooperated in the arrest along with Shin Bet investigators.
The arrest was reported by Hevron Division Commander Yisrael Tal to Mizrahi's widow, who was injured along with two others in the attack while she was pregnant.
Security sources also stated Monday that Awad's home has been slated for demolition as part of his punishment.
A Yamam Commander and brigadier general, identified only as S., said on Monday "from our perspective as a police unit, the activities of the unit's fighters is above all a sense of closure in trapping the despicable perpetrators of the crime, and a clear message to all terrorists that the long arm of the security forces will reach every one of them."
The arrest was reenacted on Monday by the commander of the forces who nabbed Awad, a police chief superintendent identified as A.
"I saw before my eyes fighters brimming with motivation to trap the murderer responsible for the despicable crime and to bring him to justice," said A., noting that on Israeli Memorial Day the unit went to Chief Superintendent Mizrahi's grave.
"We couldn't ignore that Kaddish (prayer for the dead) said by Baruch's z''l son which made us all shiver; his wife Hadas gave us a strong impression of firmness, and heroism in the way she acted in the incident to save her children. That moment we knew that soon the day would come when the arms of the security (forces) would reach the murderer. I hope the arrest will bring even a little comfort to his wife and children," said A.
Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino spoke about the investigation as well, saying "I swore to make every effort with the other security forces to get our hands on the lowly murderers, and today I thank the Judea and Samaria Division police units, Yamam and police forensics, the IDF and the general security services for deciphering the shocking murder of a police captain."
"I send a clear message to all those involved in the matter, that the murderous terror attacks won't achieve their goals, the state of Israel and the Israeli police will not compromise on the security of its citizens," remarked Danino.
Leftist MKs met with Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas Leftist MKs the same day as Mizrahi was being buried, and told Israeli media that Abbas had condemned the murder, as well as "all other terror attacks." Abbas quickly denied condemning the murder, instead saying he spoke against violence in general.
Like father, like son - Ziyad and Tarkumiya Awad: