Clashes Erupt as IDF Raze Home of Terrorist Linked to Killing of Israeli Officer

Three armed Palestinians opened fire on forces during demolition of home of man involved in killing of Border Policewoman in Damascus Gate last February.

Palestinians boy stand amidst the rubble the house of Bilal Abu Zeid that was demolished by the Israeli army in the West Bank village of Kabatiya, near Jenin, Monday, July 18, 2016.
Majdi Mohammed, AP

The home of Bilal Abu Zid, who abetted the terror attack in February at Jerusalem's Damascus Gate in which Border Police officer Hadar Cohen, 19, was killed, was demolished Monday by Israeli army forces in a move that deteriorated into a firefight.

Clashes erupted during the demolition process, which escalated to an exchange of live fire and explosives targeting the Israel Defense Forces, according to army sources. The soldiers fired back, wounding three Palestinians who, the IDF says, were armed.

Local residents claim five Palestinians were injured by gunfire, one seriously. All have been evacuated to a hospital in Jenin.

Palestinians boy stand amidst the rubble the house of Bilal Abu Zeid that was demolished by the Israeli army in the West Bank village of Kabatiya, near Jenin, Monday, July 18, 2016.
Majdi Mohammed, AP

In the attack, on February 3, Cohen was killed and a second Border Police woman was injured. Neither had completed basic training before being stationed at the Old City's Damascus Gate, though it was a known hotspot for trouble. In a statement at the time, the Border Police said the women had “completed minimal training that enabled their deployment.”

All three terrorists involved in perpetrating the attack were killed and their homes were razed.

Moshe Ya'alon, the Israeli defense minister at the time, issued an order for Bilal Abu Zid’s house in Kfar Kibiya, near Ramallah, to be demolished too.

Abu Zid’s father petitioned to block the demolition, arguing that the rights of Bilal’s two non-adult siblings, aged 8 and 14, who live in the house should prevail. The father also argued that the decision to destroy the home of a man who did not actually participate in the terror attack per se constitutes a policy change. However, two weeks ago the petition was turned down, on the grounds that Bilal Abu Zid had played a crucial role in the attack.