In first such statement in years, terrorist group’s military wing takes responsibility for attack, running against defense establishment’s estimates assailants acted alone

Hamas on Monday claimed responsibility for the terror attack outside the West Bank settlement of Ariel over the weekend and vowed that more attacks are to come.

In the first such statement in years, the terrorist group’s military wing Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades said that the shooting “comes within a series of responses to the defiling of our al-Aqsa [Mosque] and aggression against it.

חמאס לוקח אחריות על הפיגוע באריאל והפיץ כרזות המברכות את המחבלים
Hamas claims responsibility for the Ariel terror attack


Shortly after the announcement, the group shared a poster featuring the two gunmen behind the attack on its social media accounts.

Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip Yahya Sinwar praised the attackers in a speech on Saturday.

Hamas’s announcement comes in marked contrast with the findings of a preliminary investigation which ruled that the suspects, identified as 19-year-old Yahyah Maree and 20-year-old Yousef A’ssi, were not sent by any terrorist groups, but one of them had ties to Hamas.

Both men are barred from entering Israel, and one of them has previously served time in an Israeli prison. They were arrested in their homes in the Palestinian town of Qarawat Bani Hassan, along with several relatives suspected of aiding them in carrying out the attack.

חמאס לוקח אחריות על הפיגוע באריאל והפיץ כרזות המברכות את המחבלים
Poster posted by Hamas after claiming responsibility for the Ariel terror attack


IDF troops and counterterrorism officers arrested the two at the end of a 20-hour manhunt and took them in for further questioning by the Shin Bet security agency.

The two did not put up any resistance and both their weapons — Carl Gustav submachine guns — were also seized in the raid.

During the searches, clashes erupted between Israeli forces and Palestinians in the village of Azzun overnight Saturday, during which IDF troops shot dead a rioter who lobbed a firebomb at them.

As reported by Ynetnews