IDF moves to demolish home of teen girl’s killer
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IDF moves to demolish home of teen girl’s killer

Security forces seize 3 weapons in Bethlehem region, arrest 7 Palestinian suspects

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

IDF soldiers serve a home demolition notice at the residence of Muhammad Tarayrah, the Palestinian terrorist who murdered 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel. (IDF Spokesperson)
IDF soldiers serve a home demolition notice at the residence of Muhammad Tarayrah, the Palestinian terrorist who murdered 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel. (IDF Spokesperson)

The Civil Administration in the West Bank, together with the IDF, overnight Monday informed the family of a Palestinian terrorist, who last week killed a 13-year-old Israeli girl in her bed, of its intention to demolish their home.

Soldiers served the demolition order at the home of Muhammad Tarayrah in the West Bank village of Bani Na’im, just east of Hebron.

Last Thursday Tarayrah,17, broke into the nearby Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba and repeatedly stabbed Hallel Yaffa Ariel as she lay sleeping in her bed. The settlement’s security team quickly arrived on the scene and shot Tarayrah dead. Ariel was pronounced dead a short time later. A civilian guard was also injured in the terror attack.

The demolition notices came a day after Tarayrah’s two brothers were arrested in the village.

Earlier in the week, IDF soldiers also arrested Tarayrah’s sister, Lara, for incitement. A short video clip was published on Palestinian media Thursday showing one of Tarayrah’s sisters praising his actions.

Reproduction photo, courtesy of the family, of Hallel Yaffa Ariel, 13, who was stabbed and killed in a terror attack in the settlement of Kiryat Arba, in the West Bank on June 30, 2016 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Reproduction photo, courtesy of the family, of Hallel Yaffa Ariel, 13, who was stabbed and killed in a terror attack in the settlement of Kiryat Arba, in the West Bank on June 30, 2016 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

On Monday IDF troops destroyed the West Bank homes of two Palestinian terrorists who carried out a deadly stabbing attack in Jerusalem last year. As troops moved in to raze the buildings they clashed with Palestinian rioters protesting the move.

The practice of demolishing the family homes of terrorists has been criticized by local and foreign nongovernmental rights groups. But Israeli officials have defended the measure as a key deterrent to future attacks.

Also overnight Monday, security forces seized three makeshift weapons in the Palestinian town of Beit Fajjar, southwest of Bethlehem.

Three improvised weapons seized by IDF forces in Bayt Fajar, south west of Bethlehem, July 5, 2016. (IDF Spokesperson)
Three improvised weapons seized by IDF forces in Bayt Fajar, south west of Bethlehem, July 5, 2016. (IDF Spokesperson)

Border Police and security forces also arrested seven Palestinians they said were suspected of “popular terror” activities and violent rioting in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley.

Two Hamas activists were arrested in Nablus; one in Awarta, southeast of Nablus; and another in Tubas, north of Jericho. Two Palestinians were arrested in Al-Bireh north of Ramallah, and one more was arrested in Beit Ummar, southwest of Bethlehem.

The day after the attack in Kiryat Arba, Palestinian gunmen shot and killed Rabbi Miki Mark as he was driving with his wife and two of his children outside of the Otniel settlement, also near Hebron. His wife, Chava, and his 14-year-old daughter were seriously wounded in the attack, and his 15-year-old son was lightly injured.

In response to the attacks, Israel placed a general closure on Bani Na’im, Tarayrah’s hometown. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman also revoked the work permits of some 2,800 Bani Na’im residents.

The army has attributed the uptick in terror attacks to the end of the month-long Ramadan holiday which concludes this week.

Since October, 35 Israelis and four others have been killed and hundreds more injured in the wave of attacks, though the violence had dramatically waned of late. Some 200 Palestinians have also been killed, some two-thirds of them while carrying out attacks and the rest in clashes with troops, Israeli officials say.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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