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IDF prepares to raze home of terrorist who stabbed Israeli man to death

Shalom Sofer, 63, died two weeks after attack in West Bank village on October 25; military arrests seven wanted Palestinians in overnight raids

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

Israeli troops measure the home of Younis Helan, accused of stabbing an Israeli man to death in October, in the West Bank village of Hajjah on November 15, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
Israeli troops measure the home of Younis Helan, accused of stabbing an Israeli man to death in October, in the West Bank village of Hajjah on November 15, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israeli military early Tuesday morning made preparations for the demolition of the home of a Palestinian man who carried out a deadly stabbing attack in a northeastern West Bank Palestinian village last month.

On October 25, the terrorist, named by Palestinian media as Younis Helan, stabbed 63-year-old Shalom Sofer after he exited a store in al-Funduq, a Palestinian village near the settlement of Kedumim. After being hospitalized in serious condition Sofer was released, but he succumbed to his injuries last Tuesday at home.

Sofer, who lived in the central city of Petah Tikvah and owned a store in Kedumim, apparently suffered blood loss after one of his wounds unexpectedly reopened.

In the predawn hours of Tuesday morning, Israeli troops measured Helan’s home — the first step before its potential demolition — in the village of Hajjah, the Israel Defense Forces said.

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.

Helan was arrested by Israeli troops nearby several hours after the stabbing in al-Funduq

Shalom Sofer (courtesy)

Tensions have soared in the West Bank recently as the IDF has pressed on with an anti-terror offensive mostly focused on the northern part of the territory. The ongoing operation has netted more than 2,000 arrests in near-nightly raids.

The operation has also left over 125 Palestinians dead, many of them — but not all — while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces.

The IDF’s anti-terror offensive in the West Bank was launched following a series of Palestinian attacks that killed 19 people earlier this year.

In this handout photo, IDF troops detain the Palestinian suspected of stabbing an Israeli man in the West Bank village of al-Funduq on October 25, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

An Israeli man was killed in an attack in Hebron last month, another woman was killed in Holon in a suspected attack in September, and four soldiers have been killed in the West Bank in attacks and during the arrest operations.

In arrests raids across the West Bank early Tuesday, seven wanted Palestinians were detained and a firearm was seized, the IDF said.

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