ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 143

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IDF demolishes Hebron home of Hamas terrorist involved in deadly West Bank attack

Troops also kill Palestinian gunman who opened fire on soldiers near West Bank town of Dayr Sharaf; no injuries to Israeli forces

People inspect damage after the controlled demolition by Israeli forces of the apartment of Hassan Qafisha, one of three Hamas members who carried out a deadly attack on an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank near Jerusalem on November 16, 2023, in the West Bank city of Hebron early on February 8, 2024. (HAZEM BADER / AFP)
People inspect damage after the controlled demolition by Israeli forces of the apartment of Hassan Qafisha, one of three Hamas members who carried out a deadly attack on an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank near Jerusalem on November 16, 2023, in the West Bank city of Hebron early on February 8, 2024. (HAZEM BADER / AFP)

The Israel Defense Forces said Thursday that troops along with Border Police officers destroyed the Hebron home of one of the perpetrators of a deadly November shooting attack, when terrorists targeted the “tunnels” checkpoint on the West Bank’s Route 60, south of Jerusalem.

Cpl. Avraham Fetena, 20, a Military Police soldier from Haifa, was critically wounded in the attack and later succumbed to his injuries. Five other people were wounded.

The military did not identify the name of the attacker whose home was destroyed, saying only that he was one of three people who carried out the attack and that the homes of the two other perpetrators had already been demolished.

Palestinian media identified him as Hassan Qafisha. Qafisha’s father was the head of the Hamas terror group’s military arm in Hebron until he was killed in 2003.

At the time of the attack, the other gunmen were identified as Abdelqader Qawasmeh and Nasser Qawasmeh. All three were members of Hamas.

Police said the three gunmen had planned to carry out a much larger massacre in Jerusalem. Hamas claimed the attack.

Jerusalem defends the practice of razing the family home of attackers as a deterrent against future assaults. Over the years, a number of Israeli defense officials have questioned the efficacy of the practice, and human rights activists have denounced it as unfair collective punishment.

Smoke billows during the controlled demolition by by Israeli forces of the apartment of Hassan Qafisha, one of three Hamas members who carried out a deadly attack on an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank near Jerusalem on November 16, 2023, in the West Bank city of Hebron early on February 8, 2024. (Photo by HAZEM BADER / AFP)

Also Thursday, a Palestinian gunman who opened fire at troops near the West Bank town of Dayr Sharaf was shot dead, the military and medics said.

The IDF said reservists of the 7037th Reserve Battalion operating at an army post near the town fired back at the gunman. According to the Rescuers Without Borders emergency service, he was killed by the gunfire.

The service said two more Palestinians were wounded in the same incident, possibly by the assailant’s gunfire.

No soldiers were hurt, the IDF said. The service says a bullet hit the helmet of one of the troops, but he was unharmed.

Violence in the West Bank has soared since October 7, when thousands of Hamas-led terrorists burst into Israel from Gaza by land, air and sea in a shock assault in which they massacred more than 1,200 people and seized some 253 hostages. In response to the deadliest attack in the country’s history, Israel vowed to eliminate Hamas from the Gaza Strip, where the terror group has ruled since 2007.

Since the beginning of the war 3,050 suspects have been arrested in the West Bank, of whom 1,350 are affiliated with Hamas, the IDF said.

Illustrative: Israeli security forces operating in Nur Shams refugee camp near Tulkarem in the West Bank on January 3, 2024. (Majdi Mohammed/AP)

According to the Palestinian Authority health ministry, some 300 West Bank Palestinians have been killed in that time.

Based on military estimates, the vast majority of those killed since October 7 were shot during clashes amid arrest raids, and many of them, according to data seen by The Times of Israel, were armed with either a firearm or an explosive device.

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