The Israel Defense Forces demolished the Samaria home of top Hamas commander Saleh al-Arouri on Tuesday morning.
Al-Arouri, the commander of Hamas operations in Judea and Samaria and the deputy of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, is currently based in Lebanon. The demolition order was signed last Friday.
After security forces destroyed the home in the village of Arura north of Ramallah, they hung a combined Hamas and Islamic State flag on its ruins with the inscription “Hamas=ISIS.”
Al-Arouri is one of the top Hamas leaders on Israel’s target list following the terror group’s Oct. 7 massacre of at least 1,400 Israelis. More than 5,000 people were wounded in the massacre, and over 200 hostages were taken back to the Gaza Strip.
Israeli forces raided al-Arouri’s home on Oct. 21, detaining more than 20 people, including one of his brothers and nine of his nephews.
Israeli forces reportedly raised a banner over the home showing al-Arouri on the backdrop of an Israeli flag, with the caption: “This was the house of Saleh al-Arouri and has become the headquarters of Abu al-Nimer.”
Abu al-Nimer is reportedly an alias for the Israeli intelligence officer responsible for the area.
Al-Arouri is credited with orchestrating the deep relationship between Hamas and Iran, and also played a key role in re-establishing the Palestinian terrorist group’s ties with Damascus, which were severed in 2012 during the Syrian Civil War.
He was recruited into Hamas in 1985 while studying Sharia law at Hebron University, and has served 18 years in Israeli prisons. He was deported to Syria in 2010.