PA to rebuild slain terrorist's home

Jihad leader killed in Bethlehem last week; move seen as effort to preempt Hizbullah, Hamas offers.

shehadeh funeral 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
shehadeh funeral 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
The Palestinian Authority will rebuild the home of a West Bank terror leader who was killed by IDF troops last week, an official said Sunday, in an apparent response to similar offers from Hizbullah and Hamas. Muhammad Shehadeh, the Islamic Jihad leader in Bethlehem, was killed along with three other operatives in an IDF raid there last week. His house was demolished by the IDF a week earlier. Salah Haniyeh, spokesman for the PA Ministry of Public Works, said the death of Shehadeh "shook Palestinian society." He said rebuilding the family's home "must be a priority." The move appeared to be an effort by the government of PA President Mahmoud Abbas to preempt offers by others, including Hizbullah and Hamas, to rebuild the house. Abbas is concerned about the rising influence of both groups. Shehadeh's wife told Associated Press Television News Saturday that she had received a call from a man claiming to be from the office of Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah, offering to reconstruct her house. She said she did not know whether the call was legitimate, and Hizbullah officials in Lebanon declined to comment. The Hamas rulers of Gaza also made an offer to rebuild his family home. The IDF said in a statement Sunday that the house had not been destroyed as a punitive measure. Instead, the army said, soldiers believed the group leader was hiding inside. However, there were no clashes at the site and no one was arrested, according to B'Tselem.