by: Ilse Strauss
Monday, 12 August 2019 | It only took 48 hours. Less than two days after the body of 18-year-old Dvir Sorek was discovered in the pre-dawn hours of Thursday morning—stabbed to death and dumped by the side of the road near the community of Migdal Oz in Judea—Israeli security forces apprehended his murderers early Saturday morning. The two terrorists were reportedly caught off-guard and sound asleep.
“We came to their houses & took them out of their beds,” Lt. Col. “S,” head of the unit that made the arrest, told Yedioth Ahronoth. “They couldn’t believe that we found them so quickly.”
The two terrorists—24-year-old Hamas activist Nazir Salah Khalil and 30-year-old Qassem Araf Khalil Atsafra, are members of the same family and live in the same village near Hebron.
Israeli security forces raided both their homes at approximately 3:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, nabbing the murderers as they slept.
Lt. Col. “S” recalls the moment. “They open their eyes and they see me and several other fighters…in front of them. They are in total shock, with fear in their eyes. They cannot believe we would get to them.”
Two of the murderers’ relatives—Nazir’s brother and Qassem’s wife—were also taken into custody for lending the terrorists a helping hand. Qassem’s car was also seized. The army believes the vehicle was used in the attack.
Sorek was a student at a yeshivah (religious school) in Migdal Oz as part of a program that combines Torah (Gen.–Deut.) studies with military service. The teen had reportedly already drafted into the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) but had not started serving yet.
On the afternoon before his murder, Sorek left Migdal Oz for Jerusalem to purchase books as gifts for his teachers. He told friends to expect him back at the yeshivah by 8:30 p.m. He never made it. Sorek’s body, riddled with stab wounds, was discovered at 3:00 a.m. near the road leading up to his yeshivah. He was reportedly clutching the books he bought for his teachers.
A massive manhunt was launched almost immediately to track down the killers. The dedicated intelligence and operational efforts bore fruit.
On Saturday evening, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lauded the security forces for identifying and apprehending the terrorists within two days. President Reuven Rivlin saluted the men and women who worked “night and day” to capture “the abominable terrorists responsible for the murder of Dvir Sorek.”
Ofir Gendelman, spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Officer, took to Twitter with a warning to those who might seek to follow in the terrorists’ footsteps: “We always get the terrorists who kill our people.”
Lt. Col. “S” echoed Gendelman’s message: “Every time I look into the killers’ eyes, I see fear. They never believe that we’re coming, and we make sure to never leave the score unsettled.”
Posted on August 12, 2019
Source: (Bridges for Peace, August 12, 2019)
Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces
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