Israeli Army Prepares to Demolish West Bank Homes of Assailants Behind Jerusalem Attack

Security forces enforce closure of Kabatiya. At least 10 arrested and several wounded as clashes break out with local population.

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Clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinians in Kabatiya on Thursday, Feb. 4 2016.
Clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinians in Kabatiya on Thursday, Feb. 4 2016.Credit: Reuters

Israeli security forces and the civil authority entered the West Bank town of Kabatiya Wednesday night to identify and map out three homes belonging to Palestinian assailants who killed an Israeli border police officer near Jerusalem's Damascus Gate earlier on Wednesday.

According to local sources, several Palestinians were wounded in clashes with Israeli soldiers who closed off and arrested several individuals in Kabatiya in wake of the attack. The Israel Defense Forces cut off the main roads into Kabatiya, according to reports, and stopped entry and exit into the town.

Israeli troops were also said to have arrested at least 10, including family members of the three assailants.

Meanwhile, Yoav Mordechai, head of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, froze dozens of Israeli work permits for relatives of the three.

Credit: Reuters

According to Palestinian sources, a 15-year-old was run over by a military jeep Thursday morning. The Palestinian Red Crescent said it was allowed into Kabatiya in order to transfer wounded individuals to the hospital while others were treated within the town.

Ali Zekarna, a member of Kabatiya's city council, said that the military had informed local officials of the closure of the city on Wednesday and that the whole area had been declared a closed military zone. According to Zekarna, four Palestinians were wounded during clashes with Israeli troops who were carrying out arrests.

Two Israeli border policewomen were wounded in the shooting and stabbing attack in Jerusalem that resulted in the closure of Kabatiya. One of the two, Hadar Cohen, 19, died of her wounds shortly after.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened a security meeting after the attack with Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit in attendance.

According to a senior official in Jerusalem, it was decided during the meeting to test an option of dividing the north of the West Bank from the south. Netanyahu also ordered the trial freezing of work permits for the families of assailants.

The last several attacks were examined during the meeting in order to understand if they are part of a "new reality." According to the source, security officials say that question cannot currently be answered.

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