Two IDF soldiers were wounded on Purim Day during a raid in Jenin to arrest the terrorist who murdered two Israeli brothers as their vehicle stood in traffic on February 26 in the Palestinian Authority village of Huwara. (Israelis traveling to and from Samaria are forced to travel through the terrorist hotbed because there is no bypass road.)
One of the injured soldiers suffered a serious gunshot wound to the chest. Both were taken, fully conscious, to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa.
After the barricaded terrorists refused to surrender and instead opened fire, Israeli forces fired shoulder-mounted missiles into the building where they were holed up. In addition, armed terrorists opened fire from an ambulance, using the emergency medical vehicle as cover for their attack.
בית המחבלים המרצחים שהופצץ ע’י כוחותינו בג’נין pic.twitter.com/Jo0puP3QfK
— בז news (@1717Bazz) March 7, 2023
Terrorist operatives hurled explosives and blocks at Israeli forces and “a number of disturbances developed at the scene,” the IDF said. “The forces responded with riot dispersal methods, including shooting as necessary.”
Two IDF drones fell during the operation as well. “The events are under investigation,” the IDF said.
All told, six terrorists were eliminated by Israeli military forces during the operation, including the Huwara killer, and around 10 others were wounded in the shootout.
The dead Huwara terrorist was identified as 48-year-old Abdel Fattah Hossein Ibrahim Harusha, a Hamas operative. The killer had just been released from an Israeli prison on December 15, 2022 after having served 40 months in detention.
Simultaneously, IDF and Shin Bet forces operating in Shechem worked to arrest Harusha’s two sons, Khaled and Mohammed Harusha, both of whom are suspected of involvement in planning and carrying out the attack. They are their father were also planning another imminent attack.
The two were transferred to security forces for further investigation, the IDF said.
בתום פעילות משותפת של צה”ל, ימ”מ ושב”כ נוטרל לפני זמן קצר המבוקש עבד אלפתאח חוסין אבראהים חרושה, פעיל חמאס, במחנה הפליטים ג’נין. המבוקש חשוד בביצוע פיגוע הירי בכפר חווארה ב-26 בפברואר 2023, ה’ באדר התשפ”ג, בו נרצחו האחים סמל-ראשון הלל מנחם יניב ויגל יניב ז”ל>> pic.twitter.com/cgToR1W4QG
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) March 7, 2023
“Security forces will continue to act with determination against those involved in terrorist activity against Israeli targets, and in maintaining the security of the citizens of the State of Israel,” added Border Police and Shin Bet spokespersons in a joint statement.
Esty and Shalom Yaniv, the parents of the slain brothers — Hillel and Yagel — expressed their thanks to the forces who tracked down and eliminated their sons’ killer.
“During Purim Day, we received the message that the abominable terrorist had been killed,” the bereaved couple said in a statement. “We thank the security forces who worked day and night to bring him to justice.
“A stone was removed from our hearts when we heard that the terrorist was eliminated, and not arrested. We will continue to remember Hillel and Yagel as happy, good and loved,” the couple said.
“We feel, despite the difficulty, that God is beside us leading us, and we acknowledge that on the day of Purim, mourning is transformed into joy; thus we are comforted, at least a little, by the elimination of the terrorist.”
“IDF soldiers, ISA agents and Israel National Counter-Terrorism Unit officers have eliminated the abhorrent terrorist who murdered the two wonderful brothers, Hallel and Yigal Yaniv, in cold blood,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement following the operation.
“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,” Netanyahu added.
National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir has ordered reinforcements to Israel Police forces throughout the country in anticipation of a possible further uptick in the number of terrorist attacks.