On Friday morning, 28 December, off-duty soldiers Cpl. Ahikam Amihai and Sgt. David Rubin were hiking in wadi Telem with a female companion when four Palestinian terrorists opened fire on them from a jeep. . . . The families live in neighboring apartment buildings in Kiryat Arba. Both boys studied at the Mekor Haim high school yeshiva in Kfar Etzion and volunteered for elite IDF units.
Ahikam was the fifth child of Rabbi Yehuda Amihai and his wife Esther, and a grandson of Rabbi Tzvi Neria, "father of the knitted scullcap generation." Rabbi Yehuda Amihai is head of the Torah and Land Institute, formerly in Kfar Darom in the
David was the eldest son of Rabbi Mishael Rubin, rabbi of
BtB has a heart-breaking report on the funerals.
From a Reuters news report published on December 29 in Haaretz:
The top Palestinian security official said on Saturday his government was dismantling militant groups, including those connected to President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction. . . .
"There is no Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades any more," Interior Minister Abdel-Razak al-Yahya told Voice of
But the diplomats questioned the government's ability to disarm Fatah militants on a larger scale, noting Al-Aqsa's decentralized command and control structure.
From a December 30 report in The Jerusalem Post:
Some of the gunmen who participated in Friday's shooting attack near
They said the attack was carried out jointly by Fatah and Islamic Jihad members. . . .
On Saturday, the IDF arrested a number of Fatah activists belonging to the Yasser Arafat Groups in Hebron on suspicion of involvement in the killing of the two IDF [off duty] soldiers on Friday. . . .
[B]oth [PA Prime Minister] Fayad and [PA Information Minister] Malki are well aware of the fact that the PA's plan to dismantle all the Fatah-affiliated militias in the
From a December 31 report in The Jerusalem Post:
Fatah's armed wing, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, on Sunday called for the murder of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad for "collaboration" with
"We call on all our members and the policemen in the West Bank not to obey orders from the Fayad government, because it's serving an American agenda and helping
The Aksa Martyrs Brigades appears to be still around, even after being "dismantled."
UPDATE: The terrorists were Fatah operatives and members of the PA security forces:
. . . one of the terrorists who killed two Israeli hikers on Friday near Hebron is a policeman in the Palestinian National Security Force, and the other is a known Fatah operative and a close associate of the Palestinian Intelligence Service, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Service) revealed Tuesday night.
According to details of the murder of off-duty soldiers and nature enthusiasts David Rubin and Ahikam Amihai, the gunmen, Ali Dandis, 24, and Amar Taha, 26, surrendered on the day of the attack to the Palestinian security forces in
Hebron out of fear that they would be caught by the IDF. They also handed over the weapons they captured from the hikers. . . .
[Israeli security officials] noted that Friday's attack was not the first time that Palestinian security officials or policemen were involved in terror attacks. Last month, Ido Zoldan was gunned down in the
West Bank by Palestinian terrorists that turned out to be members of the PA security forces.
The PA did not report the surrendering of the terrorists, the Shin Bet said. After learning of their surrender, the security agency transferred a request to the PA asking that they transfer to
Israel the murder weapons and the weapons of those who were murdered.
In Palestinian parlance, when a terrorist is "dismantled," it means he has turned in his gun, joined the PA "security forces," and been given a gun. Then a press release is issued.