Ariel shooting suspects searched the attack site, saw it as a weakness – report 2022-05-01 00:32:58


The two terrorists who killed a security guard at the entrance to the West Bank settlement of Ariel located the site before the attack, and knew it was in danger, according to a Saturday report.

Vyacheslav Gulev, 23, was killed inside a guard booth at the settlement gate. His fiancée, who is also a guard, was on the scene during the attack. Military officials said Gulev used his own body to protect her from the hail of bullets and saved her life.

Counter-terrorism forces arrested two Palestinians allegedly behind the Saturday night attack. Palestinian media said they were Samih Assi and Yahya Merhi, both in their twenties.

On Sunday morning, the Israeli military said forces were operating in a number of Palestinian towns in the West Bank, including the village of Qarawat Bani Hassan, the birthplace of the alleged terrorists.

Before the attack, the couple drove to the area, drove to a high point overlooking the entrance to the settlement, and monitored the community’s gate and security, the Ynet news site reported.

The attackers, local residents, knew the area well and were familiar with the entrance to the settlement.

The report said they identified the security spot as a potential weakness, especially on Friday nights, when security was less and traffic in the area was light.

Samih Assi and Yahya Merhi, who were arrested in the Palestinian city of Salfit on April 30, 2022, for perpetrating a terrorist attack on April 29 at the entrance to the Ariel settlement in which security guard Vyacheslav Golev was killed. (Screenshot of Israel TV, used in accordance with Section 27a of the Copyright Law)

After observing the guard post, they headed towards him and realized that there were no guards outside the center. Normally, there were two guards outside the settlement gate in two different locations.

Kan public radio said the attackers had passed the guard post twice before the attack to inspect the gate and see what the guards were doing.

The suspects first fired from inside their car, hitting Gulliv, but noticing movement in the building behind him, they realized another person was inside.

They got out of the car and continued shooting with the goal of wounding the second guard, but were unsuccessful in wounding Gulev’s fiancée, Victoria Flegelman, who was unhurt in the shooting.

After the attack, the suspected terrorists moved away for about 20 minutes, traveled a few kilometers, and reached an open area, where they set the car on fire.

Israeli security and rescue personnel at the site of a shooting attack, at the entrance to the city of Ariel, in the West Bank, April 30, 2022 (Flash90)

The car had an Israeli license plate for another vehicle that was taken off the road in 2019.

The report said that security officials discovered the identities of the attackers within two hours of the shooting. Their homes, both in the same village, were placed under surveillance.

On Saturday, the Special Forces approached both homes at the same time. The arrest was carried out by the Yamam police unit, IDF forces and Shin Bet officers.

Israeli forces fired at the two houses, and moments later the two suspects came out with their hands raised. Minutes later, they revealed where the guns they used in the attack were.

On Sunday morning, the Israeli army published pictures of the arrests.

Israel has an advanced technology network in the West Bank, which was implemented in the wake of the June 2014 kidnapping and murder of three teenage boys.

According to the Haaretz daily, this huge network of cameras and surveillance points has been integrated into a highly advanced system capable of quickly collecting and analyzing huge amounts of information gathered from various sources, allowing security services to quickly identify suspects in the wake of the attack. .

The report said that Friday’s attack at the entrance to Ariel was a key point in that technological network, and took place at the entrance to a large settlement from a busy road.

The outlet said the fact that the car had a license plate that is no longer in use should be a red flag.

The army’s initial investigation found that the two guards had been completely taken by surprise at the start of the attack.

A smashed window of a guard post targeted by gunfire at the entrance to Ariel in the West Bank, April 30, 2022 (Flash90)

IDF spokesman Ran Kochav said Sunday that the military will investigate events surrounding the attack and whether Golev and Flegelman followed protocol.

“We will conduct an investigation into the attack at the entrance to Ariel and we will study what can be done to prevent a recurrence of such an incident,” Kohav told Army Radio.

“It’s too early to say whether Slava, the checkpoint guard, acted as required, and I’d rather not give grades – it ended up killing him,” said Kohve, using the nickname Gulev.

Security forces determined that the attack was not directed by any armed group, but that one of the shooters was affiliated with Hamas.

Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, a coalition of armed groups affiliated with the Palestinian Authority’s ruling Fatah movement, claimed responsibility for the attack. The movement was behind the deadly attack in Bnei Brak last month.

Both suspects were denied entry to Israel, and one of them spent a brief period in an Israeli prison at one point, Ynet reported. Not related to each other.

The gunmen appeared to have used Carlo homemade submachine guns, according to a photo released by police on Saturday.

Golev, a 23-year-old former student of Ariel University, was inherited by his parents and seven siblings at Beit Shemesh and his fiancée.

An undated photo of Vyacheslav Gulev, who was killed in a shooting attack near Ariel on April 29, and his fiancée Victoria Flegelman. (politeness)

He will be buried in Beit Shemesh on Sunday.

Palestinians also reported, on the night of Friday and Saturday, the killing of a man by Israeli fire in the village of Azzun in the West Bank, near Qalqilya, during clashes in the area.

The attack on Ariel came at a time when tensions have sharply escalated between Israel and the Palestinians in recent weeks against the backdrop of repeated terrorist attacks in Israeli cities that left 14 people dead.

The escalation came in the midst of the holy month of Ramadan – often a period of high tension in Israel and the West Bank.

The army has stepped up its activities in the West Bank in an attempt to quell the escalating violence. The raids that followed sparked clashes that left at least 25 Palestinians dead, many of whom participated in the clashes, while others appeared to be uninvolved civilians.

Emmanuel Fabian contributed to this report.