The Israeli military early Wednesday morning made preparations for the demolition of the home of a Palestinian terrorist who carried out a deadly shooting attack in the West Bank town of Huwara last month, killing two Israeli brothers.
On February 26, Abdel Fattah Hussein Kharousha, 49, a member of the Hamas terror group, shot and killed Hallel Yaniv, 21, and Yagel Yaniv, 19, as they drove through Huwara.
Kharousha fled the scene and was killed during an Israeli raid in Jenin on March 7.
In the predawn hours of Wednesday morning, the Israel Defense Forces said troops measured Kharousha’s home — the first step before its potential demolition — in the West Bank city of Nablus.
The IDF said “the mapping was carried out for the purpose of examining the possibility of demolishing the home, according to decisions that will be made.”
Palestinian media reports claimed Kharousha’s son, Qassam, was detained during the raid early Wednesday. During the March 7 operation to kill Kharousha, troops also raided Nablus and arrested two other sons, Khaled and Muhammed Kharousha, the IDF said at the time.
The military said that during the entry to Nablus on Wednesday to measure the home of the terrorist, Palestinian gunmen opened fire at Israeli troops and other hurled explosives. Soldiers returned fire, the IDF said.
There were no reports of Palestinians hurt amid the clashes.
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.
Tensions have soared in the West Bank, with the IDF pressing on with near-nightly raids amid a series of deadly Palestinian terror attacks.
In arrest raids early Wednesday, the IDF said troops detained 26 wanted Palestinians, suspected of involvement in terror activities.
Palestinian attacks in Israel and the West Bank in recent months have left 15 people dead — almost all of them Israelis — and several more seriously hurt.
At least 85 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of the year, most of them while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces, though some were uninvolved civilians and others were killed under circumstances that are being investigated.