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IDF Arrests 2 Suspects in Murder of Israeli Soldier

Courtesy: IDF

JERUSALEM, Israel - The Israel Defense Forces and Shin Bet security agency believe they have found the two men suspected of killing of 18-year-old Cpl. Dvir Sorek.   

The IDF announced Saturday evening that Israeli forces had apprehended Hamas activist Nazir Saleh Khalil Atafra, 24, and Qasem Araf Khalil Atafa, 30.

Both suspects are from the Palestinian village of Beit Kahil in the West Bank. 

Security forces also arrested Nasir's brother Akrama and Qassem's wife Ines. Israeli officials also confiscated one of the suspect's car, which they believe was used in the attack against Sorek.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu applauded the arrests, which came after a nearly 48-hour manhunt.

"I praise the ISA and the security forces for apprehending the murders of Dvir Sorek within 48 hours," Netanyahu said. "In recent years, our forces have laid hands on all of the Palestinian murderers who have attacked Israelis and today, they have done so again."

"We will continue to forcefully fight terrorism on all fronts," he added.

President Reuven Rivlin also thanked Israeli authorities for finding the suspected terrorist.

"I salute our forces working night and day in Judea and Samaria and in Gaza," Rivlin said.

The IDF said Sunday night that it began preparations to demolish the homes of the suspected terrorists.

Sorek's body was found early Thursday morning with multiple stab wounds after he was reported missing Wednesday evening.

Although he was just beginning his IDF service, he was not in uniform when he was murdered. Sorek was on his way home from studying the Torah at his Jewish seminary in Jerusalem.

Sorek's father, Yoav, thanked Israelis forces for arresting the suspected terrorists, but said in a statement that he was "disappointed they were captured alive."

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