Security forces seal home of terrorist who carried out deadly Jerusalem attack

Troops close off home ahead of its demolition; residents had already been told to leave shortly after Alqam Khayri killed 7, wounded 3 in Neve Yaakov

Security forces seal the home of Alqam Khayri, who carried out a terror attack in the Neve Ya'akov neighborhood of Jerusalem, January 29, 2023 (Screen grab/Israel Police)
Security forces seal the home of Alqam Khayri, who carried out a terror attack in the Neve Ya'akov neighborhood of Jerusalem, January 29, 2023 (Screen grab/Israel Police)

The Israel Police said Sunday that it had sealed off the home of the terrorist who killed seven and injured three in a terror attack Friday in East Jerusalem’s Neve Yaakov neighborhood.

Troops sealed the home of Alqam Khayri ahead of the demolition of the home in East Jerusalem’s A-Tur neighborhood.

Security forces had already made the residents leave the home soon after the attack on Friday night. Police said Saturday that 42 of Khayri’s friends and acquaintances had been detained.

Khayri’s home was sealed hours after the high-level security cabinet convened and made a decision on the matter.

Ahead of the meeting, far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir assailed Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara, accusing her of not authorizing security forces to seal the home of the Palestinian terrorist who carried out the shooting attack.

Baharav-Miari swiftly denied the claim.

Attorney General Gali Baharav Miara seen during a welcome ceremony for her in Jerusalem on February 8, 2022 (Courtesy Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Baharav-Miara has frequently found herself at odds with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government since it was sworn in last month, notably over its far-reaching plans to upend the judicial system and the appointment of thrice-convicted Shas leader Aryeh Deri as a minister.

Sealing the homes of attackers is often a replacement or stopgap for demolishing them. In general, the demolition process takes several months, as the home needs to be mapped out, the High Court must address appeals by the family, and security forces often wait an optimal time to enter Palestinian cities or neighborhoods for the operation.

In addition to the sealing of the home, Netanyahu said the security cabinet had decided on a series of steps to “combat terror and exact a price from terrorists and their supporters” during a meeting held late Saturday night after the deadliest terror attack against Israelis in over a decade.

Khayri, the shooter, killed seven people and wounded three near a synagogue in Jerusalem’s Neve Yaakov neighborhood on Friday evening. In a second attack, a 13-year-old Palestinian shot and wounded two people outside the capital’s Old City on Saturday.

Netanyahu said that in response to the attacks, and subsequent celebrations in Palestinian cities, officials decided on steps to “strengthen settlements” in the coming week, without providing further details.

Mourners attend the funeral of couple Eli Mizrahi and his wife, Natali, victims of a terror attack Friday in Jerusalem, at a cemetery in Beit Shemesh, January 29, 2023. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

The ministers elected to cancel National Insurance and other benefits for the families of terrorists who support their actions.

Netanyahu also said “thousands of civilians” will be granted permits to carry firearms by expediting and expanding the licensing process.

Additional soldiers and police will be deployed, and security forces will embark on a series of operations to gather intelligence, confiscate illegal firearms and carry out arrests, Netanyahu said.

The prime minister urged Israelis to abide by the law following the attacks. Police and security officials said they were concerned about potential “price tag” revenge attacks by far-right extremists against Palestinians.

Ben Gvir, a member of the security cabinet, said after the meeting that he will soon propose a law allowing for the death penalty against terrorists.

Police at the scene of a terror attack in Jerusalem on January 28, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Also attending the security cabinet meeting was Shas leader Aryeh Deri, who has been disqualified as a minister due to his multiple past criminal convictions but was invited by Netanyahu to take part as an observer.

Also Saturday, a Palestinian gunman opened fire at a restaurant near Almog Junction close to Jericho in the West Bank, causing no injuries. On Saturday night, a Palestinian man armed with a handgun was shot dead by a security guard near the northern West Bank settlement of Kedumim.

Friday’s attack came following days of violence in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Tensions increased dramatically since Thursday morning, when an Israel Defense Forces raid in the West Bank against a terrorist cell left nine Palestinians dead — most of them gunmen and members of the cell, though at least one civilian was also killed.

The IDF said Thursday’s operation in the Jenin refugee camp was necessary to foil imminent attack plans by a local Islamic Jihad terror cell. The group had primed explosives and firearms, according to the IDF.

Hamas praised Friday’s attack as a response to Thursday’s IDF operation, but no terror group took responsibility for it.

Thursday overnight saw rocket fire from Palestinian terror groups in Gaza and Israeli retaliatory airstrikes.

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