IDF Arrests Suspected Itamar Killers
UPDATE: I just contacted a Maan reporter about the story below and he pointed out that the article they published about the Darawshe arrest was based on an IDF press statement. Since the entire Itamar story and the search for suspects is under gag it would be highly unlikely the army would make any statement about arrests related to the killings. On the other hand, Rotter has just removed the post linked below, which usually means that there was a gag related to it. Is it possible the IDF released this information in error, or is it possible Rotter is acting with an abundance of caution? Take your pick: it’s possible that the Darawshe arrest is not, as Rotter claims, related to Itamar. Then again it could be…
I’m going out on a limb here since I’m using information posted at Rotter, which is not always a reliable source. But it’s sufficiently specific that I believe there is likely a great deal of truth in the report. A Rotter member reports (Hebrew) that the IDF has arrested the older of the two suspected killers in the Itamar murders, in the village of Talouza near Nablus. A separate Arabic report in Maan states that Amjad Darawshe, age 39, was arrested in the same village. Darawshe is a major in the PA security services. Yesterday, I read another Rotter post boasting (this is a far-right forum, after all) that a (Gen.) Dayton-trained Palestinian security officer was being fingered for the murder.
This of course would offer a field day for the settler movement as they can point to the more moderate Fatah-affiliated security forces in the West Bank as being riddled with Jew-hating terrorists (it goes without saying that Hamas is as well, at least in their view). This reinforces the far-right narrative that “there is no partner.” All of this may explain why Israeli authorities have proceeded quite deliberately in this case, taking quite a long time to make an arrest and sealing a lid tightly on news of the matter. This is an extremely delicate political case that has implications beyond the actual murders themselves. It would also explain why the authorities did not execute the suspected killers on the spot as happens in a number of these terror-related cases. Not only would a extrajudicial killing threaten relations with the PA, it would tarnish the reputation Israel has attempted to build up in light of what the Israeli government and media are erroneously touting as the Goldstone “retraction.”