A number of terror attacks in East Jerusalem in recent years were also carried out by young people unaffiliated with any organizations, proving that such assailants can operate under the radar of the authorities for quite a while.
The Itamar investigation found that the two young suspects had tried to obtain a firearm three days before the attack.
Although not acting on behalf of an organized terror cell, the two suspects had every intention to murder Jews. This analysis is based particularly on the confession of the elder suspect, Amjad Awad, who stated they went to Itamar to carry out an “act of sacrifice” (“istishhad,” in Arabic ), aimed at killing Israelis, and that he hoped to die a martyr’s death.
The minor, Hakim Awad, made a different claim. His confession appears to indicate that he regarded the incident as a burglary and the theft of weapons. But when they thought they had been caught, the break-in turned into murder.
The difference between the two versions may not be that significant. They obviously had planned to infiltrate the settlement. The suspects may well have continued along step by step, surprised by their success in escaping the settlement’s security. Many unorganized terror attacks often straddle the fence between being criminal and nationalistic, but either way this was a case of premeditated murder.