Terrorist taunted soldiers at scene of Ariel attack a day before

Terrorist who murdered Rabbi Itamar Ben-Gal reportedly scoped out attack scene the day before, during which he was questioned by soldiers.

Tal Polon ,

IDF soldiers
IDF soldiers
Flash 90

The terrorist who murdered 29-year-old Rabbi Itamar Ben-Gal at the Ariel Junction on Monday afternoon had arrived at the site the day before to scope out the scene ahead of the attack, taunting soldiers stationed there, ynet reported this morning, Wednesday.

According to the report, Abed al-Karim Adel Assi, the terrorist, who is a resident of Jaffa with a blue identity card denoting Israeli citizenship, arrived on Sunday at the popular hitchhiking spot at the entrance to the Samaria city of Ariel where he stabbed Ben-Gal to death a day later. Soldiers stationed at the site distanced the terrorist from civilians standing there and questioned him, but after seeing his blue identity card, released him. Initial military investigations quoted by the report found that the soldiers stationed at the junction had acted faultlessly, as they had checked the terrorist over his suspicious behavior.

An eyewitness present during the incident on Sunday told ynet that the terrorist had taunted the soldiers, telling them that he remembered their faces and calling them a derogatory term in Arabic.

“When I saw the picture of the terrorist after the attack, I recognized him from the prior incident - and I remembered how he had taunted the soldiers,” the eyewitness said.

The manhunt for Abed al-Karim Adel Assi continued on Tuesday night, as local Arab media claimed that IDF forces operating in the Palestinian Authority-controlled city of Shechem (Nablus) had surrounded a house owned by Adel Assi’s father.

The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said that during the operation in Shechem, some 500 Palestinian Arabs rioted, threw rocks, firebombs and explosive devices, erected barricades and fired live ammunition at the forces.

The forces used crowd dispersal measures and fired live ammunition into the air in order to disperse the rioters. During the operation seven suspects were arrested and transferred to security forces for questioning. The IDF said it is investigating Palestinian Arab claims that a person was killed and that several were wounded during the riots.