IDF detains two sisters of killed Hamas deputy Arouri for inciting to terror

Dalal, Fatima al-Arouri said arrested in separate locations in West Bank and put in administrative detention; 2 Palestinian gunmen killed after ramming roadblock, firing at troops

Troops operating in the West Bank in an undated photo released January 13, 2024 (Israel Defense Forces)
Troops operating in the West Bank in an undated photo released January 13, 2024 (Israel Defense Forces)

Troops operating in the West Bank arrested two sisters of Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri, who was assassinated, allegedly by Israel, in Lebanon earlier this month, the Israel Defense Forces said Sunday morning.

Dalal, 52, and Fatima, 47, al-Arouri were detained in separate raids in ‘Arura, al-Arouri’s hometown, and al-Bireh, both near Ramallah.

They were arrested for “inciting terror against the State of Israel,” the IDF said without elaborating.

Later in the day, two Palestinian gunmen who breached a roadblock opened fire at soldiers near the West Bank settlement of Metzad and were subsequently killed by the troops, the IDF said.

According to the IDF, a Palestinian-owned car broke through the roadblock near Metzad and fled. Amid a chase after the vehicle, the IDF said shots were fired from the car, likely by the passenger, at the soldiers. The troops returned fire, killing both suspects.

The IDF said troops found the gun used in the attack, along with an axe and ammunition in their car. There were no reports of Israelis hurt in the attack.

A gun used in an attack against troops near the West Bank settlement of Metzad, January 14, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)

Another 12 wanted Palestinians were detained in overnight raids across the West Bank, the IDF noted in its morning statement.

Regarding the detention of the Hamas general’s sisters, Arouri’s brother-in-law Awar al-Arouri said the two women and several other family members had been put into administrative detention, which allows for suspects to be held without charge or trial for renewable periods of up to six months.

Dalal and Fatima, sisters of slain deputy Hamas terror chief Saleh al-Arouri. (Courtesy)

Israel says administrative detention is intended to allow authorities to hold suspects while continuing to gather evidence and prevent attacks or other security offenses in the meantime.

The IDF had accused Saleh al-Arouri of helping to plan the October 7 attack in southern Israel by Hamas terrorists from Gaza, which killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians. The 3,000 terrorists who invaded across the border from Gaza also abducted at least 240 people, more than half of whom are still being held as hostages in the Strip.

Hamas’s deputy leader abroad and the mastermind behind the terror group’s infrastructure in the West Bank, Arouri is believed by Israeli intelligence to have also planned the kidnapping and murder in June 2014 of Israeli teenagers Gil-ad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel, and Eyal Yifrach. The event sparked a seven-week war between Israel and Hamas that summer.

Since the war started in the south, Hezbollah and allied Palestinian terror factions have engaged in daily cross-border clashes with Israeli troops along the Lebanon border. Lebanese terrorists have also targeted Israeli civilians and their homes, forcing tens of thousands to evacuate the area.

The killing of Arouri in a suburb of Beirut on January 2 was widely attributed to an Israeli drone strike and fueled fears that the war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip could widen into a regional conflict.

Hamas deputy chief Saleh al-Arouri. (Courtesy)

Meanwhile, troops have arrested more than 2,650 wanted Palestinians across the West Bank, including more than 1,300 affiliated with Hamas. According to the Palestinian Authority health ministry, more than 300 West Bank Palestinians have been killed in that time.

Israel responded to the Hamas October 7 attack with a military campaign aimed at destroying the terror group, removing it from power in the Gaza Strip, and releasing the hostages.

The Hamas-run health ministry has said over 23,000 people have been killed in Gaza since the fighting started. These figures cannot be independently verified, and are believed to include both civilians and Hamas members killed in Gaza, including as a consequence of terror groups’ own rocket misfires. The IDF says it has killed over 8,500 operatives in Gaza, in addition to some 1,000 terrorists inside Israel on October 7.

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