BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- A Palestinian citizen of Israel was charged with murder and attempted murder on Monday over shootings in the coastal Israeli city of Haifa earlier this month in which one Israeli was killed, after the attacks were confirmed to have been anti-Semitic in nature, Israeli police said.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said in a statement that two shootings occurred on Jan. 3, whose details were only cleared for publication on Monday. The first led to the injury of an Israeli man, while another Israeli, Guy Kafri, 47, was killed in the third attack an hour later.
Rosenfeld said that Israeli police, in collaboration with the Shin Bet intelligence agency, carried out a joint investigation into both cases, and “strongly suspected that this was a terror attack.”
“The suspect...decided that he was going to carry out an attack and kill as many people as possible,” Rosenfeld wrote. “The suspect admitted to police investigators that he carried out the shooting attack with (a Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle) that he had in his possession and that the attack was nationalistic.”
Israeli officials regularly use the terms “terrorism” or “nationalistic attack” when designating acts of violence committed by Palestinians against Jewish Israelis.
Upon realizing that Israeli security forces were closing in on him, the main suspect, identified by Israeli media as 21-year-old Muhammad Shinawi, turned himself in to the police, Rosenfeld said. Israeli news outlets reported that Shinawi turned himself in on Jan. 5, two days after carrying out the attacks.
He added that five people, including a minor, were detained in relation to the case, including Shinawi’s two brothers for assisting him in hiding from the police.
According to news outlet the Times of Israel
, Shinawi decided to carry out the attacks after his girlfriend called him a “Zionist Jew” and a “Jew lover,” with the Palestinian youth confessing that he acted “out of a nationalist motivation and hatred of Jews.”
The recently released information makes Kafri one of six Israelis, of whom he is the only civilian, to have been killed by Palestinians since the beginning of the year, according to Ma’an documentation.
Eight Palestinians have been killed by Israelis during the same time period.
Ma’an recorded that 112 Palestinians and 15 Israelis were killed in 2016 as part of Israeli-Palestinian violence.