Ziv Hagbi

October 7, 2018: Ziv Hagbi, 35, an Israeli settler living in contravention of international law in the West Bank, was shot and killed by a Palestinian assailant in the Industrial Area of Barkan colony, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

Israeli sources confirmed that two Israelis were killed in the shooting. In addition to Ziv, Kim Levengrond Yehezkel, 28, was also killed.

The sources added that the Israeli Shabak and the army launched a massive manhunt to find the shooter, identified as Ashraf Waleed Suleiman Na’alwa, 23, from Shweika village, near Tulkarem, in the northern West Bank.

The army invaded Shweika and stormed Ashraf’s family home, before violently searching it, interrogating the family, and taking measurements of their property in preparation for demolishing it as an act of collective punishment.

In the pre-dawn hours the following morning, with Ashraf still at-large, dozens of Israeli soldiers attacked his family home and abducted his mother and two sisters.

“According to Palestinian sources, neither the brother, arrested Sunday, nor the sister have any information related to the attack, but the arrests serve to pressure the assailant to reveal himself,” the Israeli paper Haaretz reported.

Meanwhile hundreds of Palestinians were prevented from entering the Barkan Industrial Zone, the site of Sunday’s shooting attack, located near Ariel settlement, as they arrived for work on Monday.

The soldiers conducted extensive searches of many homes and lands in the area, and abducted a number of Palestinians for questioning in relation to the shooting.

Israeli sources reported that the search to locate and arrest Ashraf was carried out with the assistance and full cooperation of the Palestinian Security Forces.

It quoted an unnamed Palestinian security official telling its reporter that the Israeli army believed that the shooter will likely surrender to the Palestinian security forces rather than the military, to avoid being shot dead by the Israeli soldiers.

The Israeli army, police and security forces, and Israeli political leaders stated that the fatal shooting attack “carried nationalistic motives”. Despite the fact that the Palestinian was recently fired from the factory where he carried out the deadly shooting, they “ruled out [the idea that] the shooting was motivated by this fact.”

Initially, the Israeli army and security establishment said the shooting attack was criminally motivated, but later changed their statement to say that the motivation was political.

Israeli Ynet News said the suspect worked at the Industrial Area for seven months, and carried a permit which was set to expire the following month. The area where the factory is located is in Area C of the West Bank, under full Israeli control.

He reportedly entered the factory carrying a M-16 assault rifle, before shooting and seriously wounding a man and a man, who later succumbed to their wounds, in addition to moderately wounding another woman, 54 years old.

The army said the shooter apparently carried the attack out on his own, as he is not a member of any armed Palestinian group.

Ziv was from Rishon LeZion settlement, a Jewish-only settlement constructed on stolen Palestinian land in the West Bank. Source: IMEMC