JERUSALEM (JTA) – The family of the Palestinian man arrested in the fatal shooting of a Jewish-Israeli father and son denied that he was turned in by his father.
Shadi Mutawa, 28, a member of Islamic Jihad, was arrested on Saturday night and has implicated himself in the West Bank killings of Rabbi Yaakov Litman and his son teenage son Netanel, according to the Shin Bet security service.
A day after the arrest, the Shin Bet announced that Mutawa was turned in by his father, who feared that the family’s home would be demolished.
One of Mutawa’s uncles told the Israeli daily Haaretz on Tuesday that the alleged gunman’s father was detained at a checkpoint near Hebron, but did not turn in his son.
“We heard it and I reject it vehemently,” he told Haaretz. “The father was detained at the checkpoint and we know nothing about what is happening and whether Shadi was really involved in it or not. We are sitting at home and following the news.”
The Israeli military has used the demolition of family homes of Palestinian terrorists as a deterrent against future attacks.
Litman, 40, and Netanel, 18, were killed in the attack last Friday while riding in a vehicle near the West Bank settlement of Otniel with five other members of their family on the way to Shabbat pre-wedding celebrations for Litman’s daughter.