Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hamas terrorist who killed rabbi dies in West Bank firefight with IDF

Israel’s security forces overnight killed the Hamas terrorist who murdered Rabbi Miki Mark in a July 1 shooting attack in the West Bank. Three other members of the terror cell that planned and executed the attack were arrested, the army said early Wednesday morning.

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The terrorist identified as 29-year-old Muhammad al-Fakih was killed when clashes broke out between the Israeli troops and the armed cell in the West Bank village of Surif, north of Hebron.

The soldiers were conducting a joint IDF, Shin Bet and Israel Police operation to arrest the four-member cell.

Fakih opened fire at the Israeli troops from inside the house in which he was hiding, and the IDF responded by firing several anti-tank missiles, the IDF said. The IDF then used a bulldozer to knock down most of the building, and when the troops finally entered the destroyed home they found Fakih dead inside.

No Israeli troops were hurt in the operation.

The three arrested for their involvement in the terror attack included Fakih’s brother Sahib. According to the military, all of the detainees belong to the Hamas terror group, which rules the Gaza Strip and has seen growing popularity in the West Bank.

Miki Mark, who was murdered in a terror attack near Hebron on July 1, 2016 (Courtesy)
Miki Mark, who was murdered in a terror attack near Hebron on July 1, 2016 (Courtesy)

Mark was killed in a drive-by shooting as he traveled on Route 60 with his family, close to the Otniel settlement where they lived. Mark’s wife, Hava, was seriously injured and two of his children were wounded in the shooting attack.

The Mark family on Wednesday thanked the IDF for finding the rabbi’s killer.

An earlier report said the terrorist killed in the operation was a member of Islamic Jihad, a rival terror group to Hamas.

Violent riots broke out between the soldiers and Palestinians trying to prevent the arrests of the suspects in the village.