Israeli troops kill Hamas militant wanted in rabbi murder, arrest 2 others in overnight raid (VIDEO)
The man killed was identified as Mohammad Al-Fakih, who Israel says is a member of Hamas’ armed wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades. The operation was jointly carried out by the Shin Bet (Israel’s security agency), the Israeli Defense Forces and the Israeli police as they targeted a house in the village of Surif, near Hebron in the occupied West Bank.
"During the raid, the terrorist opened fire on our forces," the IDF said in a statement cited by the Jerusalem Post. "In response, the forces returned fire, and launched a number of anti-tank missiles at the structure in which he had barricaded himself."
The IDF subsequently used a bulldozer to partly demolish the building. When the troops eventually entered the house, they found Al-Fakih dead. A Palestinian woman received light injuries during the gunfire and was taken to hospital.
“I am happy as a commander that my troops were able to help close a circle with regard to the murder [of Mark]. It’s a message to other terrorists that we are going to do what we need to do [to stop such attacks]," IDF Col. Amos HaCohen told Army Radio.
Al-Fakih had previously been jailed for planning terrorist attacks and was also a member of the militant organization Islamic Jihad. While in prison, he joined the Al-Qassam Brigades, according to YNet News.
The dead suspect’s brother and uncle were apprehended during the raid, while earlier in July, Israeli security forces said they arrested Mohammed Amira, who is a member of the Palestinian Authority national security force.
Rabbi Michael Mark was murdered today by "Palestinian" terrorist in a terror attack in Hebron. ה"יד 💔😪 pic.twitter.com/99wKdi1Xw9— miriam (@_ElYahud) July 1, 2016
He subsequently admitted that he was the driver during the attack on July 1, when Al-Fakih killed Rabbi Mark, a father of 10 children, in a drive-by shooting, according to the Shin Bet. The shooting took place near the Otniel settlement in the occupied West Bank.
Mark’s wife, Chava, was seriously injured in the attack. Two of the couple’s children who were traveling in the car received light injuries.
Palestinian street attacks have killed at least 22 Israelis since October, as well as two American citizens. Over 200 Palestinians have been killed in the same time frame, 139 of whom Israel says were militants.