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Yaniv brothers’ killer was released from Israeli jail months before the attack

Hamas member Abdel Fattah Hussein Kharousha was reportedly freed four months ago, after being arrested for planning shooting attacks against Israeli soldiers.

The funeral of brothers Hallel, 21, and Yagel Yaniv, 19, at Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem, on Feb. 27, 2023. The two brothers were shot dead by a terrorist in the village of Huwara in Samaria a day earlier. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
The funeral of brothers Hallel, 21, and Yagel Yaniv, 19, at Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem, on Feb. 27, 2023. The two brothers were shot dead by a terrorist in the village of Huwara in Samaria a day earlier. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

The Palestinian terrorist who gunned down the Yaniv brothers on Feb. 26 had been released from an Israeli jail only months earlier, against the recommendation of elements of the defense establishment, Arutz Sheva reported on Wednesday.

Hamas member Abdel Fattah Hussein Kharousha, 49, shot dead 21-year-old Hallel Menachem Yaniv and 19-year-old Yagel Yaniv while they were driving near Huwara in Samaria.

Kharousha was released from prison four months ago, after being arrested for planning shooting attacks against Israelis. He had served just under three years and was freed despite warnings from intelligence and security officials, according to the report.

Kharousha was killed on Tuesday in an Israeli military operation in Jenin, a hotbed of Palestinian terrorism in northern Samaria. In concurrent operations in Nablus, Israeli forces arrested two of Kharousha’s sons for suspected involvement in the attack that killed the Yanivs.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the soldiers who “eliminated the abhorrent terrorist who murdered the two wonderful brothers, Hallel and Yigal Yaniv, in cold blood.”

He continued, saying “our brave soldiers acted with surgical precision in the heart of the murderers’ lair. I commend them and send my best wishes for a swift recovery to our wounded. As I have said repeatedly: Whoever harms us will pay the price.”

Hallel and Yagel Yaniv were laid to rest on Feb. 27 on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.

“There are no words to describe such a disaster,” said Esti Yaniv, the victims’ mother, at the funeral. “Instead of taking children to the [marriage] chuppah, we bury them.”

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