Israeli military prosecutors on Monday filed charges against two Palestinians in connection with the murder of American-Israeli citizen Elan Ganeles on Feb. 27 near Jericho.
The Israel Defense Forces arrested Louie Maruf and Maher Shalon on March 1 while operating in the Aqabat Jabr refugee camp in the Jordan Valley, close to where the murder took place.
According to the indictments, the two men planned the shooting together, purchasing a gun, ammunition and a car. The defendants then drove along Route 90 and began looking for Israeli vehicles and escape routes.
“The defendants shot at several Israeli vehicles, and when they noticed the vehicle driven by the late Elan Ganeles, they approached him and opened fire that penetrated the windshield of the vehicle and caused his death. The defendants then shot at another Israeli vehicle and then fled the scene and burned the vehicle they were using to carry out the attack,” the IDF statement said.
The two are being charged with intentionally causing death in a group—the military court’s equivalent of murder—along with other charges.
It was decided after the indictments to extend the detention of Maruf and Shalon until the end of the legal proceedings.
The home of one of the suspects was mapped for demolition in March.
Ganeles, a native of Connecticut, served in the IDF from July 2016 to August 2018. He was living in Manhattan and had traveled to the Jewish state to celebrate a friend’s wedding.
“He was the biggest gift in our lives. He wanted so much to see the world and all its aspects,” said Elan’s mother, Carolyn, at the funeral in Ra’anana on March 1.
“Our loss is a loss for the world—of such a bright, brilliant, emerging star. He was so loved, he will be missed so much. We feel like a part of our being has been taken from much.”