Israeli forces kill Palestinian terrorist responsible for Huwara attack

Three YAMAM officers were injured in the Jenin raid, while the terrorist who murdered Hallel and Yagel Yaniv was killed.

IDF soldiers kills the terrorist responsible for the Huwara terror attack (credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit).

The terrorist who killed brothers Hillel Menachem Yaniv and Yagel Ya’acov Yaniv on February 26 was killed Tuesday in a raid in Jenin carried out jointly by the IDF, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Border Police.

Six Palestinians died in the raid and 26 more were wounded, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Hiding out in Jenin, he was identified as Hamas operative Abdel Fattah Hussain Harusha, 49, from the Askar refugee camp near Nablus. Harusha had recently been released from an Israeli jail after an eight-month prison sentence for conspiracy to plan a terror attack.

Harusha’s sons, Khaled and Mohammad, were arrested in Nablus on suspicion of involvement in the Huwara attack, Israel said.

After the operation, the Islamic Jihad terrorist movement warned that “the resistance will not let the blood of its fighters and citizens be wasted, and the resistance’s response to the enemy’s crimes will not be long in coming.”

 Israeli security forces seen operating in Jenin on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT) Israeli security forces seen operating in Jenin on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

Hamas called for an escalation of violence in the West Bank after the raid, stating “The crimes and massacres of the occupation will not frighten our people, but rather will increase their determination and strength in confronting the occupation and its settler militia.”

The Yaniv parents said: “A stone was removed from our hearts when we heard that the terrorist was killed and not arrested. We feel, despite the difficulty, that God is beside us, leading us, and we are thankful that on the day of Purim, grief turns into joy, we are comforted a little by the killing of the terrorist.”

What else happened during the Israeli raid in Jenin?

During the operation, Israeli forces were hit with heavy fire from armed locals, and they responded with hand-held rocket launchers. Two Police Counterterrorism Unit (YAMAM) officers were lightly injured by Palestinian fire.

Police chief Kobi Shabtai and Border Police chief Amir Cohen visited one of the injured officers in Haifa’s Rambam Health Care Campus, praising his brave and professional conduct.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “The soldiers of the IDF, the Shin Bet and the Counterterrorism Unit today eliminated the abominable terrorist who murdered the two brothers Hillel and Yagel Yaniv in cold blood. Our brave warriors operated surgically in the heart of the murderers’ den. I praise them and send recovery wishes to the wounded from among our forces.”

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir commended the operation as well and wished the wounded soldiers a speedy recovery.

Huwara was subject to a violent revenge attack by settlers following the murder of the Yaniv brothers, in which over 90 Palestinians were injured and dozens of homes and cars torched, despite it not being identified as connected to any specific crime.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi later apologized for the IDF’s failure to prevent this revenge attack.

The Huwara terror attack

Harusha rammed his car into an Israeli vehicle driven by the Yaniv brothers through Huwara before shooting and critically injuring them. Harusha escaped from the scene.

The brothers were residents of the Har Bracha settlement near Nablus. Hillel had just completed his service in the navy.