Israeli forces on Tuesday mapped for demolition the homes of three terrorists involved in a shooting in June that left four Israeli civilians dead, according to the Israel Defense Forces.
Troops operated in the Palestinian village of Urif, south of Shechem (Nablus) in Samaria, to prepare the homes for potential demolition.
The IDF said that the three suspects were “partners in the planning and execution of the attack.” Bassel Shehadeh, Hamed Sabah and a third, unnamed Palestinian were indicted in August for assisting the two gunmen who carried out the murders.
Four Israelis were killed and four others wounded in the shooting, which occurred on June 20 near the town of Eli in the Binyamin region of Samaria.
The masked terrorists were armed with M-16 rifles. An armed Israeli civilian managed to kill one of the terrorists at the scene of the attack, while the second was killed some hours later by Israeli security forces.
The forces tracked down the terrorist’s stolen car close to the Palestinian Authority-controlled city of Tubas, northeast of Shechem. The terrorist tried to escape and was shot dead.
Both shooters were members of Hamas and came from Urif. The Gaza-based terror group claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that it was a “heroic” response to the killing of seven Palestinians by Israeli forces the previous day during clashes with Palestinian gunmen in the Jenin refugee camp. Eight Israeli soldiers were wounded in the clashes.
The night following the Eli attack, Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria rioted in the Arab town, seeking revenge for the murders, with injuries and damage reported.
On July 3, Israel launched a major counter-terrorism operation in Jenin. According to the IDF, the city had become a “safe haven” for terrorists, who in recent months had launched some 50 attacks from Jenin against Israelis.
Judea and Samaria leaders welcomed the Jenin operation following the Eli attack, with the head of the Beit El Regional Council, Shai Alon, saying that “all the residents of Judea and Samaria stand behind the security forces and support their operation to restore quiet to the entire region.”