IDF razes home of Hamas man linked to Henkin killings
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IDF razes home of Hamas man linked to Henkin killings

Zaid Ziyad Jamil Amr was part of the cell that killed Israeli couple in front of their children in October shooting attack in West Bank

Naama and Eitam Henkin, who were killed in a terror attack on October 1, 2015. (Courtesy)
Naama and Eitam Henkin, who were killed in a terror attack on October 1, 2015. (Courtesy)

IDF and Border Police forces early Tuesday demolished the Nablus home of one of the five members of a Hamas cell that gunned down Eitam and Naama Henkin in October.

“In accordance with the orders of the political echelon, our forces and those of the Border Police, in cooperation with the Civil Administration, destroyed early this morning the home of the terrorist Zaid Ziyad Jamil Amr in Nablus,” the IDF said in a statement.

The Henkin couple were shot dead as they were traveling in their car near the West Bank settlement of Itamar on October 1, 2015. Their four small children – the oldest was nine years old – were in the backseat and witnessed their murder but were uninjured. Four days later the IDF arrested a five-man Hamas terror cell over the shooting.

The house was completely destroyed, according to local reports.

Amr’s father, Ziad, told AFP that Israeli troops arrived at the family apartment in the northern West Bank city of Nablus around 6:30 am (0330 GMT on Tuesday.

“They destroyed interior walls and closed off our home,” he said, adding that the family had been given advance warning after their appeal in Israel’s Supreme Court was rejected.

An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed the demolition.

“He was a member of a Hamas-affiliated terror cell that planned and executed the terror attack on October 1, killing Eitam and Naama Henkin,” she told AFP, saying Amr had “scouted” the route for the attack.

The demolition came after the High Court of Justice last month turned back a petition to stop the state from demolishing the house.

The car in which Israeli couple Naama and Eitam Henkin were shot dead in a terror attack near the West Bank settlement of Itamar on Thursday, October 1, 2015. (Courtesy United Hatzalah)
The car in which Israeli couple Naama and Eitam Henkin were shot dead in a terror attack near the West Bank settlement of Itamar on Thursday, October 1, 2015. (Courtesy United Hatzalah)

Last month, the High Court blocked the demolition of the homes of two Palestinians suspected of playing a role in the attack. Judge Noam Silber ruled that the two suspects, who were members of the Hamas team, were not directly involved in the attack, only in planning and raising funds.

But the court rejected a similar petition to prevent the demolition of the Amr home, giving the state the go-ahead to knock it down.

The practice of demolishing of terrorists’ homes has come under criticism from rights groups, while Jerusalem says the controversial measure is a key deterrent to terror.

Friends and family carry the bodies of Israeli couple Naama and Eitam Henkin during their funeral at Har HaMenuchot Cemetery in Jerusalem on Friday, October 2, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Friends and family carry the bodies of Israeli couple Naama and Eitam Henkin during their funeral at Har HaMenuchot Cemetery in Jerusalem on Friday, October 2, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

In December, the IDF razed the home of Ragheb Ahmed Mohammed Aluya, the leader of the Hamas cell that killed the Henkins. The army said Aluya was the mastermind behind the attack, recruiting the rest of the cell, directing their activities as well as supplying the weapons used in the shooting.

The trials in the case are ongoing.

AFP contributed to this report.

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