IDF demolishes homes of terrorists behind deadly Ariel attack

23 year-old security guard Vyacheslav Golev was gunned down and stabbed in April by two attackers who were later caught by the Shin Bet and IDF

 Israeli Defense Forces demolish the home of Palestinian terrorist who carried out an attack in Ariel in April, July 26, 2022 (photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)
Israeli Defense Forces demolish the home of Palestinian terrorist who carried out an attack in Ariel in April, July 26, 2022
(photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)

IDF troops demolished the homes of the Palestinian terrorists behind the deadly shooting attack outside the West Bank city of Ariel in April.

Vyacheslav Golev, 23, was gunned down and then stabbed inside a security guard booth on April 29th at the western entrance to Ariel by Youssef Sameeh Assi and Yahya Marei.

“During the operation, hundreds of Palestinians instigated a number of violent riots, hurling rocks, Molotov cocktails and burning tires in the direction of the IDF and Border Police troops. The forces responded with riot dispersal means,” said the IDF in a statement. No troops were injured in the operation.

Though their homes in the Palestinian town of Qarawat Bani Hassan were mapped by the Israeli military shortly after they were arrested, the military postponed the demolition due to the visit by US President Joe Biden. The Supreme Court also rejected a petition from the families of the terrorists.

According to the indictment, the two terrorists decided to carry out the attack and purchased a vehicle with an Israeli license plate that had previously been taken off the road.

 Israeli military forces demolish the West Bank homes of the terrorists who killed Vyacheslav Golev in Ariel (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT) Israeli military forces demolish the West Bank homes of the terrorists who killed Vyacheslav Golev in Ariel (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

At around 11:20 p.m., the suspects pulled up to the entrance in a Suzuki. Security footage from the scene showed them exiting the car and opening fire on the security post.

The men then returned to the car before returning to the post to stab Golev. Their car was later found burnt out in the nearby Palestinian town Salfit, and the two attackers were caught by the Shin Bet and IDF after a 20 hour long manhunt.

Golev, who was from a Haredi family from Beit Shemesh, was guarding the entrance with his fiancée, Victoria Fiegelman, and shielded her with his body, saving her life.

Though it is not believed that the two terrorists carried out the attack at the order of any organization, Mir’i was named after Hamas bomber Yahya Ayyash, also known as the “engineer.” His father was also a close friend of the Hamas bomber and the personal assistant to Sheikh Ahmed Yassin while in prison.

While some NGOs and human rights organizations criticize the army for using collective punishment by demolishing the homes of the terrorists’ families, the IDF believes they are a key deterrent to stop other potential attackers.

The wave of terror

Golev was killed during a peak of violence that saw 20 people killed in a wave of deadly terror attacks by Palestinians.

In an attempt to bring the violence to an end, the IDF launched Operation Break the Wave and has carried out nightly raids to arrest Palestinians suspected of terror. The military has also reinforced troops in the West Bank by 12 battalions, for a total of 25 battalions and has called up reserve battalions to replace troops who were redeployed to the area from the Northern and Southern commands.

The security establishment – the IDF, Shin Bet, and Israel Police – have been focusing their sights on the northern West Bank and have increased troop presence along the Seam Line, where Palestinians have illegally crossed into Israel through holes in the security fence.

The troop deployment, as well as the call-up of reserve forces, is expected to last into the coming year.