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Suspect in deadly Haifa shootings turned himself in, police say

Israeli police and forensic experts inspect the scene of a stabbing attack in the Israeli city Rishon LeZion, south of Tel Aviv on November 2, 2015
Jack Guez (AFP)
Police are still working to establish a motive in the case

The suspect in two shootings in northern coastal city of Haifa that killed one and injured another turned himself into the authorities Thursday, police have said, to the relief of local residents.

Initially police suspected that Tuesday's shootings may have been gang-related, but subsequent investigation has increasingly led police to believe the incident may have been nationalistically motivated. Police imposed a gag order on the probe on Tuesday with few details, including the gunman's identity, made available to Israeli media.

The weapon used in the shootings has also been recovered, according to reports.

Police are still working to officially establish a motive in the case.

The first shooting on Haifa's Haatzma’ut Road moderately wounded Yehiel Iluz, 48, a senior judge overseeing conversions on a Haifa rabbinic court. The second shooting, which took place some 30 minutes later, resulted in the death of 47-year-old Guy Kafri, a van driver from the city’s Nesher neighborhood.

A manhunt was launched on Wednesday for the suspected gunman, with police raiding an abandoned home in Haifa's predominantly Arab neighborhood of Halissa, where the suspect is said to live.

A lawyer in the neighborhood, Rafat Asadi, described the suspect as “an honors student” who comes from a “completely normal family, an exemplary family, that has had no run-ins with the law,” the Ynet news agency reported.

He called on the suspect to turn himself in, describing suffering of other residents as a result of late-night police raids related to the search.

Since October 2015, 36 Israelis, two Americans, a Jordanian, an Eritrean and a Sudanese have been killed in attacks carried out by Palestinian terrorists.

246 Palestinians were also killed, most of whom while were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks, according to Israeli authorities.

Others were shot dead during protests or clashes, while some died in Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip.


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