Soldiers descend on family home of Barkan terrorist as manhunt continues

Palestinian media broadcasts footage of Israeli security forces surrounding home, a day after IDF issues re-issues demolition orders

Israeli soldiers during a raid in the village of Shuweika, near the West Bank town of Tulkarem on October 20, 2018. (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90/File)
Israeli soldiers during a raid in the village of Shuweika, near the West Bank town of Tulkarem on October 20, 2018. (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90/File)

Israeli security forces on Wednesday surrounded the home of a fugitive Palestinian man suspected of killing two Israelis in a terror attack in the West Bank’s Barkan Industrial Zone last month.

The Quds News Network published photos and videos of Israeli security forces positioned near the family home of 23-year-old Ashraf Na’alowa, in the northern West Bank village of Shuweika.

Live video footage from the scene shows large numbers of soldiers, along with armored military jeeps and at least one bulldozer in the village, outside Tulkarem.

The army confirmed that it was “currently involved in search operations” for Ashraf, but refused to comment specifically on the operation in Shuweika.

Na’alowa has been on the run since killing his coworkers Kim Levengrond Yehezkel and Ziv Hajbi on October 7 at the factory in the Barkan Industrial Zone where they were employed. A third Israeli, Sara Vaturi, was wounded in the attack.

Days after the October 7 attack, the IDF issued a demolition order for Na’alowa’s home, in keeping with the Israeli policy of razing homes of Palestinian terrorists, which was initially delayed due to an appeal from his family.

On Tuesday, the IDF said it rejected the appeal, and re-issued the demolition orders for part of the home.

Ashraf Walid Suleiman Na’alowa, a Palestinian man suspected of carrying out a deadly terror attack on October 7, 2018 in the Barkan Industrial Zone in the northern West Bank. (Courtesy)

A notice distributed by IDF Central Command, Maj. Gen. Nadav Padan said the basement and ground floors of Na’alowa’s home, where the suspected assailant lived, would be destroyed.

Na’alowa’s family has until Sunday to file an appeal with the High Court of Justice against the new order.

Israel says the practice of demolishing terrorists’ homes is an effective means of discouraging future attacks, though it has been criticized by human rights groups as a form of collective punishment and by some analysts as an ineffective deterrent measure.

Several members of Na’alowa’s family have been detained or arrested following the attack. The Israeli military has issued a number of warnings to Palestinians in the northern West Bank not to assist Na’alowa.

A Palestinian security official has confirmed to The Times of Israel that Palestinian Authority security forces are assisting in the search for Na’alowa.

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