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IDF raids hometown of Ariel attack suspects, maps houses for demolition

Troops detain man suspected of aiding two terrorists in deadly shooting at entrance of settlement; another 11 arrested in raids across West Bank

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

Israeli troops map out the home of an alleged Palestinian terrorist in the West Bank town of Qarawat Bani Hassan, May, 1, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
Israeli troops map out the home of an alleged Palestinian terrorist in the West Bank town of Qarawat Bani Hassan, May, 1, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli forces on Sunday morning raided the West Bank hometown of two Palestinians suspected of carrying out a deadly shooting attack at the entrance to Ariel on Friday night, the military said.

During the operation in the town of Qarawat Bani Hassan, the homes of Youssef Sameeh Assi and Yahya Marei were measured and prepared for eventual demolition, the Israel Defense Forces said.

Israel demolishes, as a matter of policy, the homes of Palestinians accused of carrying out deadly terror attacks. The efficacy of the policy is controversial within the Israeli security establishment, and human rights activists have denounced it as unfair collective punishment.

Amid the operation, troops also arrested a man suspected of assisting the two terrorists to commit the attack, in which Vyacheslav Golev, 23, was gunned down inside a guard booth at the gate to the settlement, the IDF said.

Elsewhere in the West Bank, Israeli forces arrested another 11 Palestinians, suspected of involvement in terror activities, the military said. Troops also seized several firearms. During raids in Jalazoun, Palestinians hurled stones at soldiers, without causing any injuries, the military said.

The two alleged terrorists in the deadly attack near Ariel were arrested after a 20-hour manhunt.

Footage of the Friday night attack showed a blue Suzuki vehicle driving up to a guard post, where a gunman in the passenger seat opened fire. The gunman and the driver then both got out and both fired into the guard post before driving off.

Golev’s death was declared at the scene.

Israeli security and rescue personnel at the scene of a shooting attack, at the entrance to Ariel, in the West Bank, on April 30, 2022 (Flash90)

He is survived by his parents and seven siblings who live in Beit Shemesh, and his fiancée, Victoria Fligelman from the southern city of Ashkelon, who was stationed at the guard post during the attack.

An undated photo of Vyacheslav Golev who was killed in a shooting attack near Ariel on April 29, and his fiancée, Victoria Fligelman. (Courtesy)

Golev used his body to shield her from the hail of bullets, saving her life, according to military officials. She was not wounded in the attack

The attack on Ariel came as tensions have risen sharply between Israel and the Palestinians in recent weeks against the backdrop of repeated terror attacks in Israeli cities that left 15 dead.

The escalation has come amid the Muslim holy month of Ramadan — often a period of high tension in Israel and the West Bank.

The army has stepped up its West Bank activities in an attempt to crack down on the spiraling violence. The ensuing raids sparked clashes that left at least 26 Palestinians dead, many of whom took part in the clashes, while others appeared to have been uninvolved civilians.

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