Killer of 2 Israeli soldiers at large after initially surrendering himself to Palestinian police

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Tel Aviv [Israel: A terrorist who turned himself in to the Palestinian Authority police after killing two Israeli soldiers is now at large, The Press Service of Israel can confirm. Abed Rauf Shteyeh, a 30-year-old resident of Shechem (Nablus), rammed his car into Staff Sgt. Eliya Hilel, 20, and Staff Sgt. Diego Shvisha Harsaj, 20, near the entrance to Itamar on May 29.

“He was indeed not handed over to Israel and he is behaving as expected,” a high-ranking officer in the Israel Defence Forces told TPS-IL. “We will soon put our hands on him, either alive in handcuffs or in a coffin.”

An associate of PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas and a Palestinian security official both confirmed to TPS-IL that they saw Shteyeh in the police building in Shechem the night after the attack. However, police officers informed him and his family that they could not accept him or guarantee his safety and urged him to surrender to the Israel Defence Forces.

Due to the sensitivity of the situation, Shteyeh and his family went to the PA General Intelligence building. The PA’s General Intelligence is commanded by Col Majid Faraj, who is also responsible for security coordination with Israel.
Shteyeh’s family and local police agreed that the police would not accept him, but the family refused to hand him over to Israel. Following this, Shteyeh reportedly left the General Intelligence building and went into hiding.
He has not been seen since.

A Palestinian official told TPS-IL that the Palestinian Authority is reluctant to accept anyone who turns themselves in. He said Ramallah fears Israeli reprisals and the possibility Israel will exploit these incidents to undermine the PA.
Since October 7, Israeli security forces have arrested around 4,000 Palestinian terror suspects in Judea and Samaria, of whom 1,700 are associated with Hamas.

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