IDF announces plan to demolish home of suspect in terror attack that killed teen

Authorities warn relatives of man alleged to have killed Rina Shnerb of intention to destroy their home over the murder

Rina Shnerb, 17, who was killed in a terror attack in the West Bank on August 23, 2019 (courtesy)
Rina Shnerb, 17, who was killed in a terror attack in the West Bank on August 23, 2019 (courtesy)

The Israel Defense Forces on Tuesday notified the family of a suspected Palestinian terrorist of its intention to demolish their home.

The army said that it gave notice to the family of Qassem Shibli, and that they have the opportunity to appeal.

Shibli and other alleged cell members are accused of carrying out a bombing at a natural spring near the Dolev settlement in the West Bank last August, killing 17-year-old Rina Shnerb and seriously injuring her father and brother.

According to the Shin Bet security service, the explosive was planted at the site and triggered remotely by a cell belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group.

Last month the army notified the families of two other suspects in the attack of its intention to demolish their homes. The army said it gave notice to the families of Walid Hanatsheh and Yasan Majamas.

Demolitions are a controversial policy that the IDF says helps deter future terror attacks.

Clockwise from top-left, PFLP members Nizam Mahmoud, Qassem Shibli, Yasan Majamas, Samer Arbid, Walid Hanatsheh, Abdel Raziq Faraj, Khalida Jarrar and Itaraf Hajaj, who are all arrested by the Shin Bet security service on suspicion of having directly carried out or approved a deadly bombing attack on an Israeli family outside the Dolev settlement in August 2019 (Shin Bet)

During its investigation, the Shin Bet, working with the Israel Defense Forces and Israel Police, uncovered a large network of PFLP operatives, who also allegedly conducted shooting attacks against Israeli targets “and were planning to carry out other significant terror attacks in the near future,” the security service said.

The cell was said to have been led by Samer Mina Salim Arbid, who was arrested shortly after the attack.

Medical teams and security forces and gather at the site where a bomb exploded in a terror attack near the settlement of Dolev in the West Bank on August 23, 2019 (Ahmad GHARABLI / AFP)

Palestinian and Israeli rights groups have alleged that suspects were tortured after they were arrested in the aftermath of the attack. According to security sources, the Shin Bet was given permission to employ “extraordinary measures” during the interrogation of at least one of the suspects.

This is typically allowed in “ticking time bomb” cases where there is concern the suspect could provide security forces with information that could prevent an imminent attack.

The Shin Bet announced in December that it had arrested some 50 members of the network connected to the attack in recent months.

Judah Ari Gross and AP contributed to this report.

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