Clashes erupted Sunday night between the Israeli military and Palestinian gunmen in a northern West Bank village, as troops entered to demolish the homes of two gunmen who killed an officer in September.
Footage published by Palestinian media outlets showed a convoy of military vehicles entering Kafr Dan, the hometown of two Palestinian gunmen who carried out a deadly attack along the West Bank security barrier on September 14, killing Maj. Bar Falah, 30, the deputy commander of the elite Nahal reconnaissance unit.
Amateur videos showed Palestinians hurling stones at the Israeli military vehicles, as shots rang out in the background.
A local wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades terror groups issued statements saying members had opened fire at Israeli soldiers operating in the area.
Palestinian media said at least one person was wounded by Israeli troops returning fire.
In a brief statement, the Israel Defense Forces confirmed troops had entered Kafr Dan to demolish the homes of Ahmed Abed and Abdul Rahman Abed, who were both killed in a gun battle during the attack in September.
Ahmed Abed was an officer in the Palestinian Authority security services.
The IDF had mapped out their homes a day after the attack — the first step before demolition — and had formally notified their families of its intention to raze the homes in September.
Israel regularly demolishes the homes of Palestinians accused of carrying out deadly terror attacks, as a matter of policy. The efficacy of the measure has been hotly debated even within the Israeli security establishment, while human rights activists denounce the practice as unjust collective punishment.
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A military investigation into the death of Falah pointed to “errors” made by troops, who detected the suspects near a military post and moved in to investigate but failed to realize they were armed and were caught unawares by their initial volley of fire, which hit Falah.
Tensions have spiked in the region in recent weeks as Israeli forces have ratcheted up arrest raids and other counterterror efforts following a series of terror attacks that left 31 people dead in 2022.
Israeli troops have repeatedly come under gunfire during nightly raids in the West Bank.
Kafr Dan is located close to Jenin, where a number of the attacks earlier in 2022 originated and where the IDF has concentrated much of its anti-terror campaign.