Palestinian Who Murdered Rabbi Michael Mark Killed in West Bank Clashes, Shin Bet Confirms

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An Israeli security forces truck carries out an operation near Hebron, Israel, July 27, 2016.
An Israeli security forces truck carries out an operation near Hebron, Israel, July 27, 2016.Credit: Screenshot / Shehab News Agency

The Shin Bet confirmed on Tuesday night that the Palestinian assailant who murdered Rabbi Michael Mark of Otniel was killed in clashes with Israeli security forces overnight near Hebron.

Mohammed Fakieh, who was been in hiding since carrying out the attack, was located on Tuesday night in the town of Zarif. According to Palestinian reports, the IDF then fired anti-tank rockets at the building where he was hiding. 

The IDF Spokesperson's Office says Fakieh fired at the Israeli forces during the raid and the latter responded with fire and anti-tank missiles directed at Fakieh’s hideout. Eventually the Israeli forces demolished the house with a bulldozer and killed Fakieh. 

According to the IDF, a Kalashnikov rifle and a home-made grenade were found in his vicinity. In addition, three Palestinians who aided Fakieh were detained during the operation. During the exchange of fire a Palestinian woman was lightly wounded. She was taken to hospital to receive medical treatment.

Fakieh, 29, lived in Hebron. He was detained in Israeli prison in the past for his activity in the Islamic Jihad organization, which included planning attacks. During his incarceration he became affiliated with Hamas, according to the Shin Bet.

According to the Shin Bet, the cell that carried out the attack in Otniel at the beginning of July was identified as Hamas. A few other cell members were also detained overnight, including Palestinian security services member Mohammed Omaireh, the Shin Bet said.

Omaireh, 38, from the town of Dura near Hebron, was detained three days after the Otniel attack by Israeli forces and admitted to driving the car from which Fakieh shot at the Mark family's car, killing Michael Mark. The weapon and car used in the attack were turned over during the Shin Bet's investigation. 

Fakieh's brother, Sahib, was also detained and confessed that he helped Mohammed to hide and to conceal weapons, the Shin Bet said. The siblings' cousin, Muaz Fakieh, has also been taken into custody. According to the Shin Bet, he helped put up Fakieh after the attack. 

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