IDF razes Hebron home of terrorist who killed Israeli man last year

Military carries out demolition after appeals on behalf of Muhammed al-Jabari rejected; shooting attack on October 29 killed Ronen Hanania, wounded four others

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Israeli troops demolish the home of a Palestinian who carried out a deadly shooting attack last year, in the West Bank city of Hebron on February 16, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
Israeli troops demolish the home of a Palestinian who carried out a deadly shooting attack last year, in the West Bank city of Hebron on February 16, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israeli military early Thursday morning demolished the home of a Palestinian man who carried out a deadly terror attack near the southern West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba in October 2022.

Late Wednesday, the Israel Defense Forces said troops entered the adjacent West Bank city of Hebron to carry out the demolition.

Footage published by Palestinian media outlets showed Israeli forces operating in the city and near the home of Muhammed Kamel al-Jabari.

According to Palestinian reports, Israeli forces cleared out nearby homes ahead of the demolition to avoid casualties.

In the early hours of Thursday, the home was demolished in a controlled blast, footage published by the military showed.

Al-Jabari, an apparent member of the Hamas terror group, carried out the shooting attack near a convenience store owned by a Palestinian between Kiryat Arba and Hebron on October 29.

Ronen Hanania, an Israeli resident of Kiryat Arba, was killed and his son was wounded in the initial attack. Al-Jabari left the scene by car and returned on foot several minutes later, opening fire on medics and settlement security guards who arrived to help the pair.

That gunfire seriously injured veteran paramedic and settler activist Ofer Ohana, who has since recovered. Two others, including a Palestinian man, were also hurt in the attack.

A security guard eventually rammed Al-Jabari with his vehicle and he was shot dead by an off-duty soldier.

Ronen Hanania, shot dead in a terrorist attack near the Kiryat Arba settlement in the southern West Bank, on October 29, 2022. (Courtesy)

In the hours after the attack, Israeli troops measured al-Jabari’s home — the first step before its demolition.

His family was notified of the military’s intention to raze their home in December, and on Wednesday, the IDF said it was carrying out the demolition after petitions to call it off had been rejected by Israel’s High Court.

Israel regularly demolishes the homes of Palestinians accused of carrying out deadly terror attacks as a matter of policy. The efficacy of the policy has been hotly debated even within the Israeli security establishment, while human rights activists denounce the practice as unjust collective punishment.

A security source said al-Jabari suffered from terminal cancer and had only a few days to live, which may have been among the reasons for the attack.

Muhammed Kamel al-Jabari (Courtesy)

The overnight demolition operation came as tensions were high across the West Bank and in Jerusalem.

The IDF has been pressing on with an anti-terror offensive in the West Bank following a series of Palestinian terror attacks that left 31 people dead in 2022, and another 11 since the beginning of the year.

The IDF’s operation has netted more than 2,500 arrests in near-nightly raids. It also left 171 Palestinians dead in 2022, and another 48 since the beginning of the year, many of them while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces, though some were uninvolved civilians. At least one of the Palestinians killed this year was allegedly shot by a settler.

In arrest raids early Thursday, the IDF said troops detained 16 wanted Palestinians across the West Bank and seized several firearms.

There has also been a rise in revenge attacks by Israelis against Palestinians following recent terror attacks.

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