IDF gives home demolition notice to families of 3 suspected West Bank terrorists
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IDF gives home demolition notice to families of 3 suspected West Bank terrorists

Authorities warn relatives of cell members alleged to have killed Rina Shnerb and Dvir Sorek of intention to destroy their homes over the murders

Israeli troops operating in the West Bank.(IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
Israeli troops operating in the West Bank.(IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

The Israel Defense Forces on Friday notified the families of three suspected Palestinian terrorists of its intention to demolish their homes.

The army said it gave notice to the families of Mahmoud Atuna, Walid Hanatsheh and Yasan Majamas.

The imprisoned Atuna is a suspected member of a cell behind the stabbing murder of 18-year-old off-duty IDF soldier Dvir Sorek in the West Bank in August.

Hanatsheh and Majamas, also jailed, are suspected members of the cell that carried out a bombing at a natural spring near the Dolev settlement in the West Bank, killing 17-year-old Rina Shnerb and seriously injuring her father and brother.

Military sources said demolitions of the homes of other members of that cell were under consideration.

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

The army also said it warned the family of Ahmad Konba, a member of the cell behind a shooting attack that killed Raziel Shevach outside Nablus in 2018, that it would once again tear down construction work at the family home after they began rebuilding it following its first demolition.

The army’s policy is not to allow demolished homes to be rebuilt, and it has carried out repeated demolition work when such attempts are made.

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

Shnerb, 17, was killed by the bomb at a natural spring near the Dolev settlement that she was visiting with her father, Rabbi Eitan Shnerb, and her brother, Dvir, both of whom were seriously wounded.

Dvir Sorek, 18, a yeshiva student and off-duty IDF soldier who was found stabbed to death outside a West Bank settlement on August 8, 2019 (Courtesy)

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, led by Samer Mina Salim Arbid, who was arrested shortly after the attack.

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. It announced in December that it had arrested some 50 members of the network in recent months.

Sorek was found stabbed to death in August outside the settlement of Migdal Oz, where he was studying in a religious seminary. His alleged killers, cousins Nasir and Qasseem al-Asafra, later told investigators they murdered him due to “the suffering of the Palestinian people” and “the situation at Al-Aqsa [Mosque].”

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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