Police demolish terrorist’s East Jerusalem home

Ibrahim al-Akari killed two in a vehicular attack a year ago, was shot dead at the scene; troops arrest 28 suspects overnight

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Police were out in force in the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem Wednesday morning as IDF engineers demolished the family home of Hamas terrorist Ibrahim al-Akari, who killed two Israelis in a vehicular terror attack in the city last November.

“The forces are prepared to ensure order and security, and to prevent violence in order to allow IDF forces to carry out the order of the commander of the Homefront Command and destroy the home of the terrorist in the Shuafat refugee camp,” police said in a statement Wednesday.

Police would act “with determination and aggressively toward anyone, minor or adult, who violates the peace or tries to attack the forces operating [in the area], and will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law,” the statement said.

Akari was a Hamas operative whose brother was once sentenced to life in prison for murdering an Israeli police officer, but was released in the prisoner exchange for IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. On November 5, 2014, Akari rammed his vehicle into a group of Border Police officers at the Shimon Hatzadik light rail station in northern Jerusalem, then went on to ram nearby pedestrians before exiting the vehicle and attempting to attack Israelis on foot. He was shot and killed by police at the scene.

Border Police Superintendent Jadan Assad was killed in the attack. Shalom Aharon Baadani, a 17-year-old Jewish seminary student hit by Akari’s car while riding a bicycle near the rail station, died two days later of his wounds.

IDF soldiers also entered the town of Doha, west of Bethlehem, early Wednesday in order to identify the home of Raed Muhammad al-Khatib, who attempted to carry out a stabbing attack Tuesday at the nearby Gush Etzion Junction.

Israeli police at the scene of a home demolition in East Jerusalem's Shuafat refugee camp on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 (Israel Police)
Israeli police at the scene of a home demolition in East Jerusalem’s Shuafat refugee camp on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 (Israel Police)

Meanwhile, security forces arrested 28 Palestinian suspects overnight, the IDF said in a statement. Of them, 13 are suspected of “popular terror,” a term used to denote rock-throwing and firebomb attacks, usually against Israeli motorists, the army said.

The sweep of arrests took place throughout the West Bank, in Dir Amar northwest of Ramallah, Kafr Akeb southeast of Ramallah, Beit Ummar southwest of Bethlehem, and in at least four villages in the Hebron area.

A major operation involving forces from four IDF brigades in Hizme, southeast of Ramallah, uncovered large number of weapons hidden in Palestinian homes, including three rifles, ammunition, military equipment, daggers, knives and written materials containing incitement to terror attacks, the army said.

In its statement, the IDF noted that several attacks against Israelis in recent weeks had originated from Hizme.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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