Hours before Israel Memorial Day began yesterday, honoring those Israelis who were killed in battle or murdered by terrorists, Israeli security officials announced they had arrested the Arab terrorist who had been involved with the murder of one boy and the injury of another on April 2.
The confessed murderer, identified as Moussa Teet, 26, killed Shlomo Nativ, a 13-year-old Jewish boy, and injured Yair Gamliel, a 7-year-old child, with a pickax, in Bat Ayin, located southwest of Bethlehem.
The Israeli security services captured the terrorist after receiving information he was hiding in Beit Ummar, located south of Bethlehem. They reached him on April 14 during the late evening hours, before surrounding him and forcing him out.
“We surrounded the house, called upon him to come out, and five minutes later he came out with his hands up. He acted coolly and didn’t panic. It took a few days before he confessed to the murder,” Israeli security officials said.
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Mr. Teet re-enacted the incident during questioning from the planning stage until he fled the scene of the murder after residents of Bat Ayin began to pursue him.
He told his interrogators he had committed the act for religious reasons, and he had written a will 10 days before carrying out the terror attack.
The confessed terrorist also led the investigators to the weapons he had hidden in the field after murdering the teenager. He also thought he would not emerge from the attack alive.
“I wanted to be a shahid (a martyr),” Mr. Teet said under questioning.
After he managed to escape from Bat Ayin, he tried to continue to go about his life as usual, with the belief he would not be caught.
“Army forces combed the village on the day of the murder. He saw that they did not reach him, and thought that he wouldn’t be found. He went on with his life, tended the sheep and felt safe,” sources said.
Samih Teet, the terrorist’s cousin and an officer in the Palestinian Preventive Security Service, said he intended to inform the Palestinian Authority, so it would arrest Moussa and investigate whether he had committed the murder.
“On the day of the arrest, children in the village saw Moussa burying the clothes that he was wearing at the time of the attack,” Samih said. “People immediately started to talk about the fact that Moussa carried out the attack.”
Shlomo Nativ’s family has asked for Mr. Teet’s execution for murder; however, Israel has only administered the death penalty once before, when it hanged Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichman in 1962.
David Bedein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org