Israel arrests two Palestinians suspected of deadly axe attack

Two Palestinians suspected of killing three Israelis in an axe attack in the central city of Elad were arrested Sunday after a more than two day manhunt, the security services said.

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“The two terrorists who murdered three Israeli civilians in the deadly attack in the city of Elad have been caught,” the police, army and domestic security agency said in a joint statement following a massive search.

No details on the location of the arrest were immediately disclosed.

The police had previously identified the suspects as Assad Yussef al-Rifai, 19, and Subhi Imad Abu Shukair, 20.

The deadly attack on Thursday night in Elad, populated by ultra-Orthodox Jews, was the sixth in which Israelis have been targeted since March 22.

Witnesses said two assailants leapt from a car swinging axes at passers-by, leaving three dead and four wounded, before fleeing in the same vehicle.

On Sunday evening, Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian youth near the Jabara military checkpoint south of Tulkarem in the occupied West Bank, according to the Palestinian ministry of health.

The youth was identified as Mahmoud Sami Khalil, according to the Palestinian news agency Wafa.

The stabbings on Thursday occurred on what Israel celebrates as its Independence Day.

For Palestinians, the anniversary of Israel’s 1948 declaration of independence marks the Nakba, or catastrophe, when at least 750,000 people were violently expelled from their homes and villages in historic Palestine.

Elad, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish town, is built on the remains of the Palestinian village al-Muzayriyah, which was ethnically cleansed and destroyed in July 1948.

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