Israel Prepares to Demolish Homes of Palestinian Suspects in Soldier's Murder

Cousins Nseir Asafra and Kassem Asafra were arrested on Saturday in Beit Kahil, northwest of Hebron ■ Investigation reinforces assessment that suspects acted independently

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IDF troops map homes of Palestinian suspected of killing soldier Dvir Sorek, Beit Kahil, West Bank, August 12, 2019.
IDF troops map homes of Palestinian suspected of killing soldier Dvir Sorek, Beit Kahil, West Bank, August 12, 2019. Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit
Yaniv Kubovich

Israeli forces mapped overnight Sunday the homes of two Palestinians suspected in the West Bank murder of Israeli soldier Dvir Sorek, ahead of a possible demolition.

Cousins Nseir Asafra, 24, and Kassem Asafra, 30, were arrested on Saturday in the Palestinian town of Beit Kahil, northwest of Hebron. Kassem's wife Enas was also arrested, as was a third man, Akrama Asafra, on suspicion of aiding the two suspects.  

The main suspects were passed on for further interrogations by the Shin Bet security services. The Israeli army also confiscated the vehicle that the two are thought to have used in the attack.

>> The killing of Dvir Sorek is a sign of Palestinian weakness | Opinion ■ Hamas seeks to orchestrate West Bank terror attacks, but is missing key ingredient | Analysis 

The Israeli military said that during the arrests, clashes broke out between security forces and some 100 Palestinians who hurled rocks at troops. Forces used riot dispersal means to disperse the protesters. 

Israeli defense officials said that suspects' questioning reinforces the assessment that they didn't operate under the guidance of any Palestinian group in the West Bank or Gaza but rather took a spur-of-the-moment decision when they saw Sorek walking alone toward his settlement. 

According to authorities, Sorek was returning to the West Bank from a trip to Jerusalem, where he went to buy religious books. The soldier's family contacted the authorities on Wednesday night and reported him missing after didn't answer his cellphone. 

Security forces say Sorek was attacked and stabbed while walking from a square near the settlement of Efrat toward the entrance gate of Migdal oz, a distance of 200 meters [656 feet].

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