Israeli forces fired anti-tank missiles at a house in the West Bank after a shootout overnight, killing a Hamas member accused of a deadly attack on a rabbi, authorities said yesterday.
Several other people were arrested in the hours-long raid in the village of Surif, near Hebron.
Military footage showed a house being hit with an anti-tank missile then further demolished with an earthmover.
The military said soldiers surrounded the house where the Hamas member was hiding out and exchanged fire with him.
Afterwards, the house was struck with anti-tank missiles and the militant’s body was found inside.
He was identified as Mohamed Fakih, 29, and Hamas hailed him as a “martyr”.
Soldiers carried away Fakih’s body and arrested three people, who were led away with their eyes covered and loaded into military vehicles, an AFP photographer witnessed.
The official Palestinian news agency reported five people were arrested and said several villagers were injured, with Palestinian ambulances denied access to the site by Israeli soldiers.
The Israeli army reported three arrests over the course of the investigation that began after the July 1 attack that killed rabbi Michael Mark.
It called them part of a cell “affiliated with Hamas”, which has a strong presence in parts of the West Bank, particularly Hebron.
The July 1 attack saw a car targeted by gunfire south of Hebron, leading to a crash that killed Mark and wounded three family members.
Hamas said in a statement it “hails the Al-Qassam martyr Mohamed Fakih, who was martyred after a gun battle that lasted more than seven hours with occupation forces in Surif.”
Palestinian inspect the house that was severely damaged in an exchange of fire between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians during an operation to find the men accused of murdering an Israeli rabbi earlier this month.