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West Bank attack leaves Israeli security scrambling

The bewildering lone wolf attack at the West Bank Barkan Industrial Zone defied the pattern of terrorist behavior that Israel’s security forces have come to expect.
Israeli soldiers patrol near the scene where, according to Israeli media, a Palestinian shot and wounded three Israelis, at an industrial park adjacent to a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank October 7, 2018. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun - RC156539A780
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The Israel Defense Forces and Shin Bet have spent the last four days in a giant manhunt for Ashraf Na'alowa, the Palestinian assailant behind one of the harshest terror attacks Israel has seen in recent months. The IDF co-opted two infantry units for the manhunt in addition to existing forces in the area and the brigade stationed in the region. IDF intelligence has also been working overtime, employing drones, collection units, the army’s canine unit and other special units. The Shin Bet, which is supposed to know if a stone is moved from one place to another in the West Bank, is pushing its agents hard and using every means at its disposal to track Na'alowa. Even the Palestinian Authority security apparatus has joined the efforts as, according to a high-placed Israeli military source who spoke to Al-Monitor, the Palestinians also want him to be caught promptly before he carries out another attack.

Yet despite all the effort, the man has vanished. Na'alowa, a resident of Shuweika near Tulkarem, apparently does not belong to any terror organization, is not connected to any military infrastructure and has no network of collaborators or hiding places set up in advance. Still, he has so far managed to elude his pursuers, who are still trying to understand what impelled him to carry out the Oct. 7 attack, one of the most unusual that Israel has seen.

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