[Image Source: Israel Border Police]

Ahmed Nasser Jarrer, the leader of the terrorist cell that killed Rabbi Raziel Shevach, was killed in a raid near Jenin, Samaria, early Tuesday morning by Yamam security forces, Israel Border Police reported. (Yamam is a special Israeli counter-terrorism unit, one of four special units of the Israel Border Police.) When Jarrar, 22, exited the building, he was armed with an M-16 assault rifle and a bag of explosives, prompting the Israeli troops to open fire. The suspected terrorist ringleader was killed in the shootout.

According to the Israel Border Police, Jarrer was the key operative responsible for the shooting attack near Havat Gilad on January 9, 2018, which claimed the life of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, a husband, and father of six children. Over the course of the raid, security forces surrounded the building in the village of Yamun, west of Jenin, when Jarrer exited and was shot to death, Haaretz reported. Today’s announcement comes after a previous raid in Jenin, during which security forces killed Ahmed Ismail Muhammed Jarrer, a son of a Hamas official and another one of the terrorists involved in the shooting attack.

Rabbi Shevach, age 35, was killed in a drive-by shooting attack on Highway 60, near his home in the community of Havat Gilad. Raziel, who completed his rabbinical studies last year, volunteered in the medical department of the Samaria Regional Council, drove an ambulance for Magen David Adom (MDA), and gave lessons to children in the community where he had lived for the past eight years. Yehuda Hass, who volunteered with Shevach at MDA said, “just recently, he received a citation for his work in the [MDA] organization. He was the unofficial rabbi of Havat Gilad.”

This Sunday, the Israeli government unanimously decided to formally recognize the community of Havat Gilad. Both politicians, such as Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan and residents of Samaria called on the Israeli government to authorize Havat Gilad in the aftermath of the January 9 terrorist attack. Ahead of the official announcement of the cabinet meeting, in which it was decided that the Israeli government would recognize the community, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Whoever thinks that through the reprehensible murder of a resident of Havat Gilad, a father of six, that he can break our spirit and weaken us, is making a bitter mistake”.

Earlier today, in a statement congratulating the soldiers for their successful mission, Netanyahu said, “I congratulate the security forces on the determined and complex action they carried out tonight to capture the terrorist who in the end was killed. A few days ago I told the widow of Rabbi Raziel Shevach that we would reach the murderers and this night the mission was completed. The security forces will reach anyone who tries to harm the citizens of Israel and who is found guilty. This will also be the case with the murderers of Rabbi Itamar Ben-Gal.

President of Israel Reuven Rivlin said Tuesday morning, “We appreciate and salute all the security forces…who, in a complex security operation and with proper daring, fought for our security. I have no doubt that the murderer of Itamar Ben-Gal and his collaborators will be persecuted until we reach them. The State of Israel will never surrender to  terrorism and will reach the last of its supporters, for the safety of our citizens.”

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