2 brothers from Hebron arrested for wounding Israelis with sniper rifle

Two brothers from Hebron were arrested on suspicion of carrying out a series of shooting attacks against soldiers and civilians, wounding four Israelis, it was cleared for publication Monday.

The brothers are Nasser Faisal Muhammad Badwi, 23, affiliated with Hamas, and his older brother Akram Faisal Muhammad Badwi, 33. The attacks were carried out with sniper rifles.

During their Shin Bet interrogation, a makeshift sniper rifle used in the terror attacks was confiscated, as well as a Carl Gustav rifle with which one of the brothers planned to carry out further attacks. The brothers hid the makeshift sniper rifle in the al-Mujahideen mosque in Hebron and took it from there to carry out their attacks.

Faisal Badwi, left, and Akram Badwi, right, arrested for Hebron sniper shootings (Photo: Shin Bet)
Faisal Badwi, left, and Akram Badwi, right, arrested for Hebron sniper shootings (Photo: Shin Bet)

The Shin Bet said that the brothers are responsible for a series of attacks.

On November 6, 2015, they met in a building owned by their father, where they went up to the third floor and entered an apartment under renovation. Akram put the gun on a windowsill facing the Tomb of the Patriarchs and started shooting. He estimated that he hit a group of worshipers near the tomb, but only later upon hearing news reports about the wounded did they realized they struck two worshipers. One worshiper was wounded moderately to seriously and the other lightly. After the attack the brothers went to celebrate a cousin’s wedding.

It was also learned from the investigation that Nasser decided to carry out the attack following the death of an elderly terrorist from Hebron who carried out a vehicular attack near the Halhul bridge that same day.

Scene of shooting attack near Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron
Scene of shooting attack near Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron

On November 25 Nasser went to the above-mentioned apartment, having taken the makeshift sniper rifle from the moseque the day before, and told his brother Akram that he intended to carry out a shooting attack alone. Nasser waited for soldiers to pass by “any other target”. When he saw a soldier near the Tomb of the Patriarchs, Nasser shot at him, but he realized that he hit a car. After the shooting, Nasser returned the gun to the mosque. As a result damage was caused to a parked vehicle but no casualties.

Later on, both brothers decided to carry out a shooting attack at an IDF checkpoint near Hebron and began to observe the area to see where the cameras were located. They located an open area among the stone quarries in the industrial area south of Hebron, from which they would be able to shoot straight towards the checkpoint. They shot at the roadblock several times but in most of the shootings the soldiers did not see or hear the shooting.

On the afternoon of January 3, Nasser spotted a group of soldiers near the Tomb of the Patriarchs and asked his brother Akram to urgently come to the same apartment from where they had already fired shots. Akram came with the rifle and fired at the group of soldiers. As a result an IDF officer cadet was moderately to seriously wounded.

That day Akram suggested to Nasser to perpetrate a shooting at the above-mentioned IDF checkpoint. The pair drove in Akram’s vehicle and positioned themselves in the stone quarries in the area, then Akram shot at the soldiers. They heard the soldiers’ shouts and fled the area. As a result of the shooting a soldier was lightly wounded.

On January 9, Nasser was arrested for questioning. A week later, on Saturday night, January 16, Akram carried out a solo shooting attack from a building in the Abu Sneineh neighborhood in Hebron, which resulted in no casualties. Akram said in his interrogation that he carried out the attack in order to divert suspicion from his brother Nasser, which, as noted, was arrested a week earlier.

After the attack, Akram hid the makeshift sniper rifle in a craner at a quarry owned by his family at the industrial area south of Hebron. The investigation also revealed that the brothers made a makeshift silencer from an oil filter, which they learned from an Internet video.