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Shin Bet Arrests Suspect in West Bank Shooting That Killed Israeli Father and Son

Suspect, turned in by his father, reportedly implicates himself in Friday shooting attack that killed Rabbi Ya’akov Litman and his son Netanel south of Hebron in the West Bank.

The Shin Bet security service arrested over the weekend a suspect in the fatal shooting of Rabbi Ya’akov Litman and his son Netanel, Friday, south of Hebron.

The suspect in the attack near the settlement of Othniel has been identified as Shadi Ahmed Mataua, 28, a married father of two from Hebron.

According to the Shin Bet, Mataua is associated with Islamic Jihad. His interrogation is still underway, the agency said. Mataua was arrested Saturday night at his home by members of the army’s special forces unit, Duvdevan, after his father informed the authorities that his son was the perpetrator of the attack.

According to the Shin Bet, Shadi told his brother, Majdi, that he was the one who carried out the attack, in which Litman and his son were killed. The brother told the father, and the two decided to hand over Mataua to the authorities. The agency said the brother and the father were afraid that their house would be demolished as a result of the attack.

The gun and vehicle used in the attack were also located during the suspect’s arrest. The suspect has reportedly implicated himself in the attack.

Litman, 40, and his son Netanel, 18, were driving with five other family members to a family event in the southern town of Meitar. At around 3 P.M. a shooter ambushed their vehicle near the settlement of Othniel in the southern Hebron hills area. Two other passengers, a woman and a 16-year-old male, were lightly and moderately wounded, and were rushed to Soroka Medical Center, Be’er Sheva, along with three girls in the vehicle who were suffering from shock.

The two victims were laid to rest on Saturday at Jerusalem’s Har Hamenuchot cemetery.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said following the attack: “We’ll get to those despicable murderers and will prosecute them like we have done in the past.”

Islamist militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad praised the attack as a “natural response to crimes conducted by the Israeli occupation.”

Israel to file protest against Palestinian Red Crescent

Netanyahu has directed Israel’s Foreign Ministry to file a protest with the International Committee of the Red Cross after accusing a Palestinian Red Crescent Society ambulance of not stopping to help Jewish victims of a terror attack.

“If things are indeed as they seem to me today, the State of Israel will take appropriate steps against the Red Crescent,” Netanyahu said Saturday night in a phone conversation with Noa Litman, wife and mother of the two men slain late Friday afternoon.

Litman told Netanyahu during the call that the Red Crescent ambulance did not stop to assist the victims, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office. In a recording of the call made to emergency services by Litman’s 16-year-old son, broadcast Friday night on Israeli television, it appears that the Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance did not stop for the injured victims after realizing that they are Jewish.

“There are two wounded here, but we have the Red Crescent with us,” the teen says in the phone call, which was recorded. He then says: “The Red Crescent ambulance drove away from us, I don’t know why.”

In a statement issued late Friday evening by the Palestine Red Crescent Society, the organization denied allegations that its paramedics did not stop to assist the victims.

“A PRCS’ team arrived at the scene and started providing First Aid to the wounded. A few minutes later, two Israeli ambulances, one belonging to the Israeli army and another from Magen David Adom, arrived at the scene. The ambulances’ teams headed towards the wounded persons, brandishing their weapons. Given that Israeli paramedics had arrived and were providing medical care to casualties, PRCS’ team left the scene which they felt had become unsafe,” the statement said.

The driver of the Israeli ambulance that arrived at the scene told Israeli Channel 10 that Red Crescent paramedics did not alight from their vehicle before driving away.

By Gili Cohen/Haaretz

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