The two Arabs who were arrested on Wednesday night adjacent to the northern neighborhood of the town of Yitzhar in Samaria – at roughly the same time as a stabbing attack took place nearby in Har Bracha – were released just several hours later.
At around 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday the military observation post in Yitzhar identified two suspicious figures approaching the Jewish town. A warning siren was sounded in the town and the residents were ordered to stay indoors.
The local security team and an IDF force were called up on site and after a chase they managed to arrest the two Arabs, who were found to be carrying weapons including long crow bars, hammers and metal spikes.
In the Har Bracha attack that took place at the same time, two Arab terrorists stabbed two soldiers at a military post, moderately and lightly wounding them, before fleeing.
The two Arabs arrested near Yitzhar, who were identified as a 20-year-old and 34-year-old from the village of Hizme located adjacent to Jerusalem, were brought in for interrogation by the Israeli Security Agency (ISA).
In investigation the two claimed they were heading for a well adjacent to Yitzhar in order to "search for gold" and not in order to conduct an attack – their claims were apparently accepted, as they were released the same night they were arrested.
Residents of Yitzhar sharply criticized the decision to release the two Arabs, arguing that the decision endangers the lives of Israelis and ignores the danger incumbent in the act of Arabs being allowed to approach Jewish towns in the region.
The decision is all the more serious "particularly when we are in the midst of a wave of Arab terror," said Uriya Cohen, chairman of the Yitzhar secretariat.
"Just hours before the incident in Yitzhar, two terrorists infiltrated Givat Hayovel in the town of Eli," he noted, remarking on an attack on a home that miraculously ended only with one victim lightly wounded. "Did they also only come just to steal?!"
"We are at the beginning of a wave of infiltrations into towns, which we must cut off firmly and clearly. The settlements are tired of blood filled infiltration attacks, and the release of the terrorists the same night as the infiltration broadcasts weakness and God forbid invites additional infiltrations," said Cohen.