Israel’s security authorities faced a new difficulty in identifying the gunman who murdered Sgt. Omri Levy, 19, from Sdeh Hamad and injured 10 victims at the Beersheba bus station Sunday night, Oct. 18: Unusual leads in the current wave of Palestinian terror pointed to links outside the country to the Gaza Strip.
Monday morning, they named him as Muhand Al- Uqabi, 21, who was born in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza to an expatriate Bedouin woman. She gained Israeli residency under the family reunification law after marrying an Israeli citizen. The investigation uncovered her son’s adherence to a new terror movement called Al-Sabirin, that was recently established in the Gaza Strip by Iran and Hizballah after they decided that the radical Hamas which rules enclave and the Islamic Jihad had become too conformist and lost their edge as potent terrorist movements for fighting Israel.
Al-Sabirin is the brainchild of Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah and Al Qods Brigades chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who is in charge of Iranian-sponsored foreign terrorist movements, including the Gaza groups.
They promoted Hisham Salem from Beit Lahiya, a mid-grade Islamic Jihad officer, to lead the new group. One of his qualifications was that he belongs to a large Palestinian family, with branches scattered across southern Mt. Hebron among small villages and isolated farms around the Al Fawar refugee camp. The clan maintains close ties with the Bedouin who live just across the West Bank border in southern Israel. Salem therefore commands clandestine connections for terrorist activity across three borders.
The Beersheba shooting by Al-Uqabi, who was killed in the attack, may have been the Iranian-backed Al-Sabirin group’s first terrorist operation.
debkafile first reported Sunday night:
A terrorist armed with a gun and a knife walked into the Beersheba central bus station Sunday night, Oct. 18, shot dead an Israeli soldier, 19-year old Sgt. Omri Levy, snatched his weapon and injured 10 people, including four soldiers. Police shot him dead in a struggle. A second suspected terrorist was injured by police gunfire and later turned out to be an Eritrean migrant. He was attacked by the crowd and later died in hospital. This was the second shooting attack in the current wave of terror which has focused on stabbing, the first in Beersheba.
debkafile: This attack was not a new departure in the current wave of terror. Just last week, on Oct. 13, two Israelis were murdered in a planned attack by a pair of terrorists who carried out a shooting-cum-knifing attack on a Jerusalem bus in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood.
On Oct 1, Eitam and Na’ama Henkin were shot dead in their car by a terrorist cell numbering at least five members. The Beersheba attack was likewise the result of prior planning. These attacks are all part of th same serial terrorist offensive the Palestinians have launched against Israel.