IDF razes Bnei Brak terrorist’s West Bank home; Palestinian killed in clashes

Israeli forces operating in a Palestinian town in the Jenin area in the northern West Bank early Thursday morning completed the demolition of the home of a terrorist who killed five people in Bnei Brak.

Israeli troops and military bulldozers entered Ya’bad to raze Diaa Hamarsheh’s home.

Three Palestinians were critically injured in firefights with the military, one of whom was later pronounced dead, according to Palestinian officials.

He was identified as Bilal Kabha, 24.

There were no reports of injuries to Israeli troops. On Wednesday evening, the IDF confirmed that troops were operating in Ya’bad to raze Hamarsheh’s home, but gave no further updates.

In addition to the operation in Ya’abad, there were clashes between Palestinians and IDF troops in the Dheisheh refugee camp, near the West Bank city of Bethlehem. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Palestinians inspect the damage to the house of Bnei Brak terrorist Diaa Hamarsheh that was demolished by Israeli troops in the West Bank village of Ya’bad, June 2, 2022 (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Hamarsheh, 27, killed four civilians in the central ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak on March 29 — Avishai Yehezkel, 29, who was protecting his baby from gunfire; Ya’akov Shalom, 36; and Ukrainian nationals Victor Sorokopot, 38, and Dimitri Mitrik, 23.

Hamarsheh was then killed in a shootout with police officers, one of whom — Amir Khoury, 32 — was his fifth victim.

The military initiated the process of razing Hamarsheh’s home the day after the attack and issued the demolition order last month.

The shooting came at the start of a wave of terror attacks in Israeli cities that claimed the lives of 19 people. The military has stepped up its West Bank activities in an attempt to crack down on the spiraling violence.

The ensuing raids sparked clashes that left at least 30 Palestinians dead since mid-March.

Israeli security forces and emergency personnel at the scene of a terrorist attack on March 28, 2022, in Bnei Brak in which five people were killed. (Jack Guez / AFP)

Many were gunmen involved in firefights with Israeli soldiers or who took part in violent clashes. Others were apparently uninvolved bystanders, such as Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. The veteran correspondent was killed last month under disputed circumstances in Jenin during a gun battle between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian gunmen..

The raids have concentrated on the increasingly unstable Jenin area, from where several of the attackers hailed.

Israel defends the contentious practice of razing the family homes of terrorists as a deterrent against future assaults, and officials have argued that speed is essential, claiming that the deterrent factor degrades over time.

Over the years, however, a number of Israeli defense officials have questioned the efficacy of the practice, and human rights activists have denounced it as unfair collective punishment.

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