Israeli Military Arrests Brother of Two Behind West Bank Shooting Attacks, Palestinians Report

According to reports, soldiers threatened the Barghouti family they would be expelled to Jericho if they didn't turn their son in, weeks after Knesset advances bill to allow such expulsions despite legal and political objections

FILE PHOTO: Israeli soldiers make arrests in search for the terrorist who carried out the attack in the Barkan industrial area in the West Bank, December 13, 2018.
IDF Spokesperson's Unit

The Israeli military arrested Friday night 17-year-old Mohammed Barghouti, the brother of Assam and Salah Barghouti who had perpetrated attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians in the West Bank in December.

According to Palestinian sources, the Israel Defense Forces raided the village of Kobar north of Ramallah, searched several houses and made multiple arrests, among them Mohammed Barghouti.

According to reports, soldiers threatened the Barghouti family they would be expelled to Jericho if they didn't turn Assam in within three days. This comes weeks after the Knesset gave its support to a bill that would facilitate the expulsion of Palestinians assailants’ families from their homes to other areas of the West Bank despite objections by the attorney general, the head of the Shin Bet security service and the IDF Chief of Staff.

>> Shin Bet warned, AG objected, but bill to expel Palestinian assailants' families passes preliminary vote

Assam Barghouti, 29, killed two soldiers at the Givat Assaf outpost in the West Bank in December. He had previously served an 11-year sentence in an Israeli prison for security offenses, including planning to abduct soldiers and was released in April. The IDF is still searching for him.

A few days prior to that attack, Assam's brother Saleh Barghouti carried out a shooting attack on Israeli civilians outside of the West Bank settlement of Ofra, in which seven people were injured and an infant of one of the injured women died shortly after being delivered. Assam is alleged to have participated in this attack as well.

Israeli troops shot and killed Saleh Barghouti three days after he carried out the attack as part of an ongoing manhunt for the assailants.

In late December, Palestinian news agency Safa reported that Israeli army forces raided the Barghouti family’s home in Kobar and arrested four young people. Troops entered the house of Omar Barghouti – the brothers’ father – questioned his wife and other relatives and searched the house. They then threatened to have the house demolished within the next several days.

Omar Barghouti is a high-ranking Hamas official in the West Bankand has spent Israeli prison terms amounting to 28 years. 

A single terrorist cell is said to be responsible for both incidents that occured in December.