Palestinian security services are helping their Israeli counterparts to track down Palestinians who carried out a resistance attack near the occupied city of Nablus on Tuesday evening, killing a settler, Israeli media reported.
The Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation (Kan) quoted an unnamed Palestinian security source as saying that until now, they do not have a lead about the shooting in Nablus. He confirmed that the attackers used an American made M16 assault rifle.
The Israeli security services believe Hamas was behind the guerrilla operation which led to the killing of a settler rabbi near the illegal outpost of Havat Gilad.
Kan quoted Israeli military sources as saying that the attackers used standard weapons estimated at about 50,000 shekels ($15,000) and not improvised or locally manufactured weapons which had been the norm in previous cases, and therefore the defence establishment assumes that the attack was carried out by an organized and skilled cell.
The military correspondent and defence analyst for Israel's Haaretz newspaper, Amos Harel, said yesterday that the attack was different from most attacks in recent years. "In most of the recent attacks, Palestinian militants used improvised machine guns of the locally manufactured Carlo type, however the rabbi was apparently killed by a standard weapon."
He claimed that the Israeli forces have recently arrested Hamas-affiliated cells in the West Bank that were most likely activated from the Gaza Strip and prepared for shootings or kidnapping operations.
Meanwhile, Israeli Walla news site said the cell is still roaming the West Bank, and is likely to carry out another attack, which raises tension on the ground.