Shin Bet cautioned terrorist before murderous attack — to no avail
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Shin Bet cautioned terrorist before murderous attack — to no avail

Security services contacted Hussein Abu Ghosh’s family over extremist behavior shortly before he killed Shlomit Krigman, court says

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Shlomit Krigman, 23, died of her wounds a day after being stabbed in the West Bank settlement of Beit Horon on January 26, 2016. (Facebook)
Shlomit Krigman, 23, died of her wounds a day after being stabbed in the West Bank settlement of Beit Horon on January 26, 2016. (Facebook)

The Shin Bet security service warned the family of a Palestinian teen that their son was edging into extremist behavior, but the teenager nevertheless went on to carry out a stabbing attack that killed an Israeli woman and moderately injured another.

A panel of three High Court of Justice judges on Tuesday rejected an appeal by the family of Hussein Abu Ghosh, 17, against the demolition of their home, citing the Shin Bet warnings as proof that the family had been given ample opportunity to prevent the attack, the Hebrew-language Walla website reported.

The family had appealed against the demolition of their home, where the parents live with six children, because their son was a minor when he carried out the attack.

On January 25 two terrorists, Ibrahim Al’an, 23, from the West Bank Palestinian village of Beit Ur al-Tahta, and Abu Ghosh, from the Qalandiya refugee camp in the West Bank near Jerusalem, entered the Beit Horon settlement and stabbed shoppers in a local grocery store.

Shlomit Krigman, 23, was seriously injured and died a day later. Another woman was moderately wounded. Both terrorists were shot dead at the scene by a security guard. During a sweep of the surrounding area, police officers found two pipe bombs that they had apparently planned to use in the attack.

In their ruling the judges noted that in the months before the attack, the Shin Bet identified Abu Ghosh as expressing extremist views and suspected that he was planning to carry out a terror attack. Last August he was called in with his father for a talk with a Shin Bet coordinator to warn them that the teen should change his ways, the Walla report said. The coordinator also made it clear to the father that his son had been banned from entering Israel because of his behavior. They were then released.

Two months later the coordinator called the father and after warning him that his son was continuing in his “bad ways,” and made clear to him that next time there wouldn’t be just a phone call but a house visit. Three months later the son carried out the attack along with Al’an.

Medics wheel a wounded Israeli woman into the emergency room of the Shaare Zedek Medical Center on January 25, 2016. She was one of two Israeli women injured in a stabbing attack at the entrance to Beit Horon, in the West Bank. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Medics wheel a wounded Israeli woman into the emergency room of the Shaare Zedek Medical Center on January 25, 2016. She was one of two Israeli women injured in a stabbing attack at the entrance to Beit Horon, in the West Bank. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The judges ruled there was no cause to reject the demolition order, which has already been signed by IDF Central Region Commander Maj.-Gen Roni Numa.

“The Shin Bet took the path of early warning to both the perpetrator and his family, while warning that they are ‘in the crosshairs,'” the ruling noted. “It is clear that the warning alerts didn’t work. The father of the perpetrator didn’t monitor his son, didn’t warn him, didn’t impress on him the gravity of such actions, so the petitioners have no one to blame but themselves.”

The petition having been rejected, the demolition will go ahead. Half of the apartment is set to be demolished and the empty spaces filled with barbed wire, the report said. It was not clear if the condemned part of the structure would be destroyed or sealed off with cement, another form of demolition used by the IDF.

Israeli officials have said home demolitions against assailants and their families are a deterrent against future attacks. However, critics say the measure is a form of collective punishment.

Homes of 11 Palestinian assailants have been demolished by security forces since September — of which three were for attacks carried out in 2014 or mid-2015, before the latest wave of violence.

The IDF on Monday sealed the home of a Palestinian teenager who is on trial for causing the death of an Israeli man in a rock-throwing attack last year. Army and police units entered the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Tsur Baher and cemented the home of Abed Dawiat, who was 17 at the time of the September 2015 incident.

Also on Tuesday the IDF military prosecutor notified that a Palestinian truck driver — suspected of running over and killing an Israeli man last year as part of the ongoing wave of terror attacks that began in October 2015 — will face a reduced charge of manslaughter.

The unnamed suspect was arrested by the Shin Bet early last month, more than five months after the October 21 incident that killed Avraham Hasano on a West Bank road. The suspect, a resident of the West Bank village of Dahariya, claims he ran over Hasano by accident and fled the scene out of fear.

In the past six months, 29 Israelis and four foreign nationals have been killed in attacks by Palestinians. Nearly 200 Palestinians have also been killed, some two-thirds of them while attacking Israelis, and the rest during clashes with troops, according to the Israeli army.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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