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Israeli forces arrest two Palestinians in Hebron terror killing

Batsheva Nigri, a kindergarten teacher and mother of three, was gunned down a day earlier.

Israeli security forces at the entrance to Hebron following deadly shooting attack on Route 60, Aug. 21, 2023. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.
Israeli security forces at the entrance to Hebron following deadly shooting attack on Route 60, Aug. 21, 2023. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.

Israeli forces on Tuesday arrested two Palestinians suspected of involvement in the terrorist murder of an Israeli woman the previous day.

The suspects, named as Mohammed and Sarker Shantir, were captured in Hebron along with the M-16 rifle believed to have been used in the attack.

Batsheva Nigri, 42, a kindergarten teacher from Beit Hagai, was killed when terrorists opened fire on her vehicle on Route 60, close to the Beit Hagai Junction. Another individual, identified as Aryeh Gottlieb, was seriously wounded in the attack.

Gottlieb is being treated at Beersheva’s Soroka Medical Center, where his condition has been stabilized. 

Nigri’s 12-year-old daughter, one of three children, who was in the back seat of the car at the time of the attack was not injured.

The vehicle was hit by at least 22 rounds, with another three bullets impacting nearby, according to a preliminary military probe.

A funeral was held for Nigri on Monday evening at the Gush Etzion Regional Cemetery in Kfar Etzion attended by hundreds of mourners.

Nigri’s sister, Eliya, said in her eulogy that she was “the most special sister I could have,” adding that she was “all light and a pure heart” and “an inspiration.”

Family and friends attend the funeral of Batsheva Nigri at the Gush Etzion Regional Cemetery in Kfar Etzion, Aug. 21, 2023. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.

 “All your life, you overcame every difficulty and proved how much strength you have.

“Everywhere you went, you lit up the place. You were contagious with your energy and joy for life,” she continued, promising to “stay strong and take care of mom, Eli [Nigri’s spouse] and your sweet children.”

“This is an unimaginable loss. You were always facing forward, with a smile and with endless hope,” Nigri’s mother-in-law said.

“The terrorists who brutally murdered Batsheva Nigri will spend the rest of their days in prison. We will take all measures to strengthen our security. We will pursue and find our enemies,” said Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Tuesday.

The brothers arrested in Hebron on Monday night were Hamas operatives looking to relieve Israeli pressure on the terror groups in the Jenin area, sources in Hebron told the JNS.

The Shantir brothers were among 32 Palestinians arrested overnight in Israeli counterterror operations in Judea and Samaria.

Palestinian sources in Hebron told JNS that Hamas terrorists in Hebron are “waking up” under a Hamas decision to carry out more attacks in Judea with the goal of relieving Israeli military pressure on Palestinian terror groups in Jenin and northern Samaria.

The sources added that Sarker Shantir is a former security prisoner, and that Akram Shantir, the father of the two, has also been detained for questioning.

TPS sources in Hebron also dismissed a claim of responsibility by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which is aligned with the Palestinian Authority’s ruling Fatah party.

“This is not the first time that the organization takes responsibility for operations it did not carry out,” TPS was told. “This is within the framework of the competition between the Palestinian organizations for the heart of the street.”

In a statement published on Monday afternoon, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed “militia” of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Hamas praised the killing, describing it as “part of the religious war over holy places and against Zionist projects” in Judea and Samaria.

On Monday evening, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu charged the Islamic Republic of Iran with orchestrating the most recent surge in Palestinian terrorism.

“We are in the midst of a terror onslaught that is being encouraged, directed and financed by Iran and its proxies,” said Netanyahu following a situational assessment near Hebron.

The comments were echoed by IDF Central Command chief Maj. Gen. Yehuda Fox, who declared Monday that Israel is “in the middle of an escalation, a terror wave, the likes of which we have not seen in a long time.”

On Saturday, a Palestinian terrorist shot and killed two Israelis in Huwara, located just outside Nablus in Samaria.

The victims, Shay Silas Nigrekar, 60, and his 28-year-old son Aviad Nir, were residents of Ashdod.

Israeli Border Police officers conducted an arrest raid in Beita, near Nablus (Shechem), on Monday and apprehended a suspect in that deadly terrorist attack.

Earlier this month, a Palestinian terrorist killed Israeli Chen Amir, 42, in the heart of Tel Aviv.

So far in 2023, Palestinian terrorists have killed 35 people (34 Israelis and an Italian tourist) in Israel and committed almost 200 shooting attacks in Judea and Samaria.

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