Police: Off-duty Israeli officer initially gave suspect shelter in his home before realizing who he was
Border crossings from Gaza and West Bank into Israel closed to Palestinians through Sunday
One of the suspects in this week’s Tel Aviv terror attack took shelter at an off-duty police officer’s home, joining a group of people who were fleeing the violence.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told CNN the police officer then visited the scene of Wednesday’s shooting at a popular market and realized that the man at his home was dressed similarly to the suspected gunman who had been shot and captured.
Rosenfeld said the man at the officer’s home was not armed while he was there.
Two shooters opened fire Wednesday night at Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market, killing four people and injuring more than a dozen others. The suspects have been arrested.
Both are Palestinians in their 20s from a village in the southern West Bank, according to Israel’s security agency. Israeli authorities have issued a gag order, and CNN is not identifying the two men.
Husband dead, wife shot
Four wounded people remain hospitalized following the attack, said police spokeswoman Luba Samri, including one of the suspects who is in stable condition.
A woman who was shot several times in her shoulder and arm attended her husband’s funeral by ambulance Thursday.
With her arm bandaged, the special needs teacher sobbed over the body of her husband, Ido Ben Ari, as mourners looked on. She returned to the hospital afterward for further treatment.
The couple were dining at the restaurant Max Brenner at the time of the attack. Ben Ari was shot several times, first in the back.
“He was the glue that stuck all the family around him,” said the victim’s brother-in-law, Yigal Goldenberg. “A wonderful soul and we miss him already.”
The 42-year-old was a father to two sons, ages 16 and 14, and worked at the Coca-Cola Co.’s Israel branch.
Three other shooting victims were identified as Ilana Naveh, 39; Michael Feige, 58; and Mila Mishayev, 32. All were Israeli.
On Friday, the Israel Defense Forces announced that crossings from Gaza and the West Bank into Israel are closed through Sunday.
Palestinians will be allowed to pass through “only in humanitarian and medical cases” or “for Friday prayers at the Temple Mount,” the statement said.
The religious site, situated on a hill in the Old City of Jerusalem, is known to Jews as the Temple Mount. Muslims refer to it as the Noble Sanctuary, which includes the al-Aqsa Mosque.
Palestinian official news agency WAFA said that 6,000 people were prevented from entering into al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem for Iftar.
Iftar is the break from daily fasting during Ramadan when the sun goes down.
Israel has also introduced age restrictions for men entering Jerusalem, according to the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories, an arm of Israel’s Ministry of Defense responsible for implementing government policy in the West bank and Gaza.
Men under 45 will need permission to enter Jerusalem to pray at the Temple Mount, while children under 12 may enter freely. There are no restrictions on women.
The U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has expressed concern over Israel’s response to Wednesday’s attack.
These concerns included Israel canceling 83,000 travel permits granted to West Bank and Gaza residents during Ramadan, suspending 204 work permits of individuals in the alleged attackers’ extended families and sealing off their entire hometown.
The U.N. office said these measures “may amount to prohibited collective punishment and will only increase the sense of injustice and frustration felt by Palestinians in this very tense time.”
Israeli raids detain 12
Israeli forces also continued raids across the West Bank on Thursday night, detaining at least 12 Palestinians, according to local and security sources.
Troops stormed homes in Nablus, Hebron and Bethlehem. One woman said troops left holes in her doors and walls and took her son away, but she didn’t know why.
Israeli soldiers stationed at the nearby Za’tara checkpoint also detained a Palestinian from Nablus while he was attempting to pass.
CNN’s Michael Schwartz and Phil Black reported from Jerusalem; Tiffany Ap wrote from Hong Kong. CNN’s Hamdi Alkhshali contributed to this report.