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Sarona Market attackers were inspired by Islamic State

The site of the terror attack in which two Palestinian gunmen killed four patrons of the Sarona market in Tel Aviv a day earlier, June 9 2016
Jessi Satin/i24news
Shin Bet arrests accomplices of shooters; one attacker radicalized while studying in Jordan

The Palestinian terrorists who carried out last month's deadly shooting attack that killed four Israelis at central Tel Aviv's upscale Sarona market were inspired by the Islamic State group, according to an official indictment filed by the Tel Aviv District Prosecutor's Office on Monday.

According to the indictment, Israeli security forces arrested Mahmoud Khalid Mahamrah and Khaled Mahamrah, both residents of the West Bank town of Yatta and both born in 1995 as the perpetrators of the deadly attack.

A statement released by the Shin Bet meanwhile, said that Mahmoud Mahamrah became an Islamic State supporter while studying in Jordan before he returned to Yata in January 2016.

Neither of the two were formally recruited or received training or assistance from the IS group, a statement by the Shin Bet said.

The two terrorists entered Israel through a break in the seam line used to smuggle illegals, in the Metzadot Yehudah area in the southern Hebron Hills.

They were assisted by Salim Mognam, 23, a resident of Yatta, who has also been arrested as an accomplice.

In order to carry out the attack, the two used improvised rifles made locally and purchased from the manufacturers in Yatta. 

Over the course of the investigation, Yunis Ayash Musa Zayn, who admitted to having planned the attack along with the two terrorists and assisted them by providing them with their weapons and ammunition, was also arrested. 

Zayn originally also planned to join the attack but could not to so "for technical reasons."

The statement also said that the cell had planned to carry out an attack against Israeli civilians since January of 2016.

Prime Minister's Office

Initially, they sought to attack train passengers traveling on the Israel Rail line on only decided on the Sarona market as a "random," last minute target, the investigation concluded.

The report also revealed that the terror cell had also planned to stab Israelis, and had purchased knives and poison, which the knives were to be dipped in.

Ten other residents of Yatta were also detained on suspicion of involvement in manufacturing and trafficking in weapons and in transporting the terrorists into Israel.

Carnage

In one of the worst terror attacks in a months-long wave of violence, the two gunmen opened fire at the popular Sarona leisure complex near Israel's military headquarters, killing four people.

Chilling video footage from a security camera inside the Max Brenner restaurant showed two men in black suits spraying the room with bullets as panicked civilians attempt to flee, some being shot at close range.

AFP/Jack Guez

One of those killed was 41-year-old father of two Ido Ben Ari from the central Israeli city of Ramat Gan. According to Israeli news site Ynet, Ben Ari was sitting the Benedict restaurant with his wife and children when the gunmen opened fire.

The other three were named as Mila Mishayev, 32, from Rishon LeZion, 39-year-old Ilana Neve of Tel Aviv and Dr. Michael Feige, 58, of Midreshet Ben Gurion in southern Israel.

Israeli media reported that Neve was a mother of four, who was out at Sarona to celebrate her 40th birthday.

Mishayev was waiting for her boyfriend to meet her at the restaurant when the attack happened.

Feige was a professor of Israel Studies at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. All four victims were Israeli citizens.

No Palestinian Islamist factions have claimed responsibility for the attack, however, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front as well as Hamas praised the shooting and there were reports of celebratory fireworks in Gaza.

There have been two other large-scale terror attacks in Tel Aviv in the last six months.

On March 8, a Palestinian went on a stabbing spree in the south Tel Aviv area of Jafaa, stabbing 13 people in three different locations, killing one.

On New Years day two people were killed and at least seven wounded when a lone gunman opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle on a pub and nearby cafe in central Tel Aviv.

He later killed a cab driver while on the run.

At least 34 Israelis, two Americans, an Eritrean and a Sudanese have been killed since October.

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

Comments

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no palis from Judea and Samaria or the gaza shitehole should be allowed into Israel for anything, period.

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