Israel arrests mother of Givat Assaf, Ofra terrorists

Troops detain Suheir Barghouti in West Bank village of Kobar, along with several other members of the family

Suheir Barghouti (Facebook photo)
Suheir Barghouti (Facebook photo)

The Israeli army on Monday night arrested the mother of two Palestinian brothers suspected of carrying out a pair of terror attacks within a few days in December, according to numerous Palestinian media reports.

The reports said troops arrested Suheir Barghouti in Kobar, near Ramallah, as part of operations overnight, along with several other members of the Barghouti family. They said 25 Palestinians were arrested throughout the West Bank overnight.

The Shin Bet security service confirmed Suheir’s arrest to The Times of Israel, saying she was suspected of failing to prevent a crime.

On Monday the army announced its intention to demolish the homes of Salih and Asem Barghouti.

Asem (L) and Salih (R) Barghouti at a rally in Kobar after the former was released from Israeli prison in April 2018 (screenshot: Twitter)

The two are believed to have conducted a December 9 terrorist attack outside the Ofra settlement, in which seven Israelis were injured, among them a seven-months pregnant woman, who was seriously wounded. The woman’s baby was delivered in an emergency operation, but died days later.

Salih Barghouti was shot dead three days later in his hometown of Kobar as he attacked Israeli security forces in an attempt to evade arrest, the army said. A day after that, Asem Barghouti opened fire at a bus stop outside the Givat Assaf outpost near Ramallah, killing two soldiers stationed there and seriously injuring a third serviceman and a civilian woman, according to the IDF.

Asem Barghouti, who fled the scene after the shooting, was arrested in the home of an alleged accomplice in the nearby village of Abu Shukheidim on January 8.

On January 20, the military notified the family of Asem Barghouti of its plans to destroy his home in Kobar. The family appealed the decision to the High Court of Justice, but the judges upheld the IDF’s plan to demolish the house.

On Monday, the head of the Central Command, Maj. Gen. Nadav Padan, who has authority over the West Bank, signed the official demolition order for the home.

In addition, the IDF on Monday said it informed the Barghouti family of its intention to demolish the apartment where Asem’s late brother Salih lived.

The family was given three days to appeal the decision.

When Israeli security forces arrested Asem Barghouti in January, the Shin Bet said he had been “busy preparing to carry out additional terror attacks.”

A poster published by Hamas claiming the December 9, 2108, Ofra terror attack and praising the ‘martyr’ Salih Barghouti, posted on Hamas’s official Twitter account, December 12, 2108. (Twitter)

Since the terror attacks, Israeli troops have arrested and questioned dozens of family members and associates of the Barghouti brothers.

The Barghouti family has an extensive history in the Hamas terror group. Asem was set free from an Israeli prison in April 2017 after serving an 11-year sentence.

Jasser Barghouti, Asem and Salih’s uncle, is a convicted terrorist released as part of the 2011 swap that freed abducted IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. He currently resides in the Gaza Strip.

Omar Barghouti, Asem and Salih’s father, and Nael Barghouti, another uncle, were convicted for participating in the killing of an Israeli soldier in 1978.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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