Itongadol.- Security forces arrested a suspected terrorist gunman and four alleged accomplices for the deadly June shooting of an Israeli civilian in the West Bank, the Shin Bet intelligence agency announced on Wednesday.
Muhammad Abu Shahin, a Fatah Tanzim operative and resident of Qalandia Refugee Camp, is in custody for the murder of 25-year-old Danny Gonen, of Lod, and the shooting and injuring of a second Israeli civilian near the settlement of Dolev.
In a joint operation by the Shin Bet, the Judea and Samaria counter-terrorism unit, and the IDF, Shahin and several terror operatives were arrested, security forces said.
In the days after the shooting, a "wave of arrests occurred in the region, and Ramallah-area operatives were taken into custody. They confessed during questioning to carrying out a series of terror attacks, including the murder of Danny Gonen," the Shin Bet said.
Before the deadly June 19 attack, the terrorists had carried out "shootings against security forces in the Qalandia refugee camp region," the Shin Bet stated. The cell "gathered intelligence on the natural spring in the area," in order to target Israelis who passed through, it said.
During the investigation, security forces seized weapons, including the firearm allegedly used in the attack.
Shahin, 30, is a former member of the Fatah-affiliated Force 17, and received a set salary from the Palestinian Authority.
He spent two years in an Israeli prison, from 2006 to 2008, after confessing to planning shooting and stabbing attacks. Shahin arrived at the spring near Dolev to gather intelligence before last month\’s shooting on multiple occasions.
In 2014, the Shin Bet added, he carried out six shootings, including one that injured a soldier.
Security forces also named 35-year-old Amjad Adwan, of the Qalandia Refugee Camp, also a Tanzim-Fatah operative, as a suspect. Adwan "supplied ammunition to Shahin, and acted as a lookout in a number of shooting attacks," the Shin Bet said. He too spent time in an Israeli prison, in 2008, for arms dealing and carrying out a bombing attack.
A third suspect, named by the Shin Bet as Ashraf Amar, 24, also of the Qalandia Refugee Camp, is "an operative in Palestinian Authority\’s intelligence" branch, the Shin Bet said. He has no prior arrests, and the Shin Bet said he headed out with Shahin to carry out an attack in recent months, but that the attackers turned back in the end.
Two additional suspects, one from Fatah-Tanzim, and another who has no organizational affiliation, are also under arrest on suspicion of involvement.
Danny Gonen, a 25-year-old electrical engineering student, was laid to rest in June in his hometown of Lod. Over 1,000 people attended the funeral.
Gonen had arrived with a friend to bathe in a local spring. The pair decided to do a turn around after being told by a friend from nearby Dolev that a group of Palestinians were at the spring.
As they approached Parsa Junction, an IDF source said last month, a Palestinian standing at the side of the road asked them to pull over.
They complied, and the gunman asked them whether the "spring had water in it," the IDF source added. In the middle of their discussion, the gunman, after ensuring that those in the car were Israelis, produced a handgun, and opened fire, striking both Israeli men with 9-milliliter rounds.