Three Palestinian law enforcement officials who allegedly killed an Israeli near Nablus in 2011 were apprehended in May by the Israel Defense Forces, Israeli officials said on Wednesday.
The arrests, which were embargoed until Tuesday, were carried out with the help of the Shin Bet security agency.
Ben-Yosef Livnat, an Israeli from the Samaria community of Elon Moreh and the nephew of Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat, was killed in April 2011 when a group of Israelis tried to cross a Palestinian checkpoint en route to Joseph’s Tomb, where they had planned to pray. Due to the sensitive location of the site — on the outskirts of Nablus — Jews who wish to pray there must obtain the necessary permits from the Israeli authorities. Livnat and the other Israelis in the group did not coordinate their visit and were fired upon when they tried to pass through the Palestinian checkpoint. Several others were injured as well.
The three Palestinian officers — Nawaf Fahd Nawaf Bani Uda, 24, Wa’el Khussein Muhammad Daud, 24, and Raki Diab Turki Zu’ara, 23 — had been incarcerated in a Palestinian Authority prison for the past two years, having pleaded guilty to unlawful use of weapons that involved firing in the air. Uda and Daud were armed patrol officers at the checkpoint, whereas Uda was unarmed, as he was the driver of a vehicle at the time of the incident.
Two additional officers who are thought to be involved in the shooting — the force’s commander and another patrol officer — have not been detained. The former is still serving a sentence in a Palestinian prison whereas the latter is holed up in a Palestinian security installation to avoid being captured.
The three detainees were interrogated by Shin Bet officers and later confessed they deliberately fired on the Israeli convoy even though they were not in a life-threatening situation. Shin Bet officials believe the new information implicates one of them as the shooter who killed Livnat.
Read more at Israel Hayom.