Palestinian terrorist turned in to Israel by his father and brother
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Palestinian terrorist turned in to Israel by his father and brother

Family of Shadi Matua feared their home would be demolished by IDF after he shot and killed Israeli rabbi and his son

Shadi Matua is believed to have killed Yaakov and Netanel Litman in a West Bank terror attack on November 13, 2015 (Courtesy Shin Bet)
Shadi Matua is believed to have killed Yaakov and Netanel Litman in a West Bank terror attack on November 13, 2015 (Courtesy Shin Bet)

The father and brother of a Palestinian terrorist who shot dead two Israelis in the West Bank on Friday were the ones to inform the Israeli authorities of his involvement, in a bid to prevent the family home being demolished.

Hebron resident Shadi Ahmad Matua, aged 28 and married with two children, was arrested by the Israel Defense Forces on Saturday night, and is said by Israel to be a member of the Islamic Jihad terrorist group.

Following an extensive search, security forces located the gun that killed Rabbi Yaakov Litman, 40, and his 18-year-old son Netanel, as well as a car used in the attack near the settlement of Otniel.

The other family members in the car — the mother, a 16-year-old boy and three young girls aged 11, 9 and 5 — were lightly wounded, suffering mostly from bruises and shrapnel injuries.

The gun that the Shin Bet says was used in the November 13 terror attack in the West Bank that killed Rabbi Yaakov Litman and his teenage son Netanel. (credit: Shin Bet)
The gun that the Shin Bet says was used in the November 13 terror attack in the West Bank that killed Rabbi Yaakov Litman and his teenage son Netanel. (Courtesy Shin Bet)

According to a report from the Hebrew-language Ynet website, Shadi Matua told his brother Majidi that he had carried out the shooting. His brother then told their father and the two decided to turn the shooter in, to avoid a possible razing of their home.

The suspect made comments during his initial investigation that implicate him in the attack, the Shin Bet security service said in a statement.

The practice of demolishing the family homes of terrorists has been criticized by non-governmental groups, but government officials have defended its use as a deterrent against attacks.

The car that the Shin Bet says was used in the November 13 terror attack in the West Bank that killed Rabbi Yaakov Litman and his teenage son Netanel. (Courtesy Shin Bet)
The car that the Shin Bet says was used in the November 13 terror attack in the West Bank that killed Rabbi Yaakov Litman and his teenage son Netanel. (Courtesy Shin Bet)

Critics claim that, in addition to being a form of collective punishment, house demolitions could motivate family members of terrorists to launch attacks themselves.

Israel razed four homes of terrorists overnight Friday, after the High Court upheld the measure despite an appeal by the families living in the homes.

Friends and family attend the funeral of Rabbi Ya’akov Litman, 40, and his son Netanel, 18, in Jerusalem on November 14, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Friends and family attend the funeral of Rabbi Yaakov Litman, 40, and his son Netanel, 18, in Jerusalem on November 14, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Authorities say the Litmans’ car was fired on by a car that passed it on the road. After being hit, the car swerved into the opposite lane, where it crashed into rocks by the side of road. Yaakov and Netanel were both hit by the initial gunfire, and Yaakov was fatally wounded. Netanel Litman tried to call rescue services but was then also shot dead by the gunman, who got out of his car to fire more shots into the Litmans’ vehicle.

Rabbi Ya'akov Litman, who was killed in a terror attack near the West Bank city of Hebron on November 13, 2015. (screen shot: Channel 2)
Rabbi Yaakov Litman, who was killed in a terror attack near the West Bank city of Hebron on November 13, 2015. (screenshot: Channel 2)

The Litmans were driving to an event in the town of Meitar to celebrate the upcoming wedding of their eldest daughter.

Father and son were laid to rest Saturday night in Jerusalem.

Raoul Wootliff contributed to this report.

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