IDF troops come under fire while mapping terrorists’ houses for demolition

One terrorist killed during IDF operation in Kafr Dan, hometown of terrorists who murdered Major Bar Falah Tuesday night.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

IDF troops came under fire Wednesday night in the village of the terrorists who killed their commander the previous night.

One Palestinian Arab terrorist was killed during a gun battle with the Israeli soldiers.

Soldiers from the Nahal Brigade Reconnaissance Unit entered the Palestinian Authority-administered town Kafr Dan in northern Samaria to map the homes of Ahmed Ayman Abed and Abdul Rahman Abed, who killed the unit’s deputy commander, Maj. Bar Falah in a clash by the border fence near the village.

The mapping is done prior to destroying terrorists’ houses to ensure that there is no collateral damage to others’ homes nearby.

During the operation, Palestinian Arab terrorists opened fire on the IDF soldiers.

In addition, Arab rioters hurled stones and Molotov cocktails.

The soldiers returned fire at the terrorists, killing one suspect who had been hurling firebombs at them.

The soldiers also arrested a relative of one of the men who killed Falah.

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The IDF is currently investigating the incident in which their senior officer died.

Channel 12 reported that investigators are probing whether the decision to sneak up on the suspects during the arrest operation Tuesday night, rather than engage with them immediately, was a correct one.

The investigators are also examining whether the IDF supporting force was properly positioned, and if the troops should have fired warning shots towards the terrorists to scare them off, rather than just shooting in the air.

In a Wednesday interview with Channel 14, one soldier in the Nahal unit which engaged the terrorists claimed that the Menashe Brigade commander who was in charge of the operation did not allow the soldiers to open fire because the two suspects targeted for arrest were not obviously armed. This, despite their having been under observation acting suspiciously for over two hours.

“When we then asked him for permission to get closer to the suspects in our armored jeep in order to see better and carry out the procedure for arresting suspects in a more protected way, he refused,” the soldier said.

At the end, the terrorists were the first ones to open fire, killing Falah, before being killed by other Israeli security personnel.

While speaking with reporters after the clash, head of Central Command Maj. Gen. Yehuda Fuchs defended the IDF’s rules of engagement vis-à-vis suspected terrorists.

“I think that the orders are broad enough so that the soldiers and commanders can carry out their mission,” he said. The commanders in the field “are very knowledgeable about what they are allowed and what they can do.” This included the fallen officer, he added.

In reaction to the incident, Defense Minister Benny Gantz ordered the immediate closure of two crossings in the border fence in the area until further notice. He also withdrew all the entry permits into sovereign Israel for the residents of Kafr Dan, at least temporarily, and ordered a “breathing” lockdown on the village that will not shut it down completely.

Gantz also referred to the fact that one of Falah’s murderers, Ahmed Abed, was a member of the Palestinian Authority’s security forces.

Calling it a “serious” matter, Gantz said that “it is a warning sign to the Palestinian Authority that it must do some self-examination and take action.”

“We will continue to act with high intensity wherever necessary, whenever necessary to prevent terrorism,” he added. “And I repeat – where the Palestinian Authority does not exercise sovereignty – we will take care of our security.”

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Prime Minister Yair Lapid had labeled the presence of the terrorist in an official security capacity as “escalat[ing] things to another level.”