A joint Border Guard, IDF and Shin Bet force on Monday killed Ali Sweiti, 42, a member of Hamas' military wing in the Hebron area after encircling his house in the village of Beit Awa. Residents of the village carried Sweiti's body, and clashes broke out between the residents and the Israeli forces.
As the IDF encircled the house, Palestinians opened fire at the force. The Israel Defense Forces said no soldiers were injured in the shooting. During the operation, a bulldozer demolished part of the house.
The soldiers called on Sweiti to exit the house several times. After he refused to turn himself in, the force employed the "pressure cooker" procedure, which included firing at one of the house's external walls. Other methods were also used to get Sweiti to leave the building.
The force used a bulldozer to gradually shake the structure in which he was hiding and give him another chance to turn himself in. At the end of the operation, the terrorist was found dead among the rubble of the house he was hiding in.
Sweiti has been wanted by Israel since 2002, for his involvement in shooting attacks. Among other things, Sweiti was behind the killing of Border Guard officer Yaniv Mashiach in 2004. Two soldiers were injured in the 2002 incident.
Killed exactly 6 years after murder
The relatives of Border Guard officer Yaniv Mashiach had to wait exactly six years for their loved one's killer to be captured. Yaniv's father, Reuven, told Ynet that the Border Guard commander was the person who informed him of the death of his son's murderer.
"It doesn't relieve the pain," he said. "His death won't bring my son back, but knowing that he is no longer alive and won't be able to hurt Jews anymore is slightly encouraging."
Reuven said that the symbolic date – exactly six years after his son's murder – was special. "Yaniv's fellow soldiers always told me that no matter how long it takes, they will capture the murderer alive or dead, and now they've managed to do it in a special operation.
According to the father, "All terrorists, wherever they are, should know that the security forces will settle the account and therefore they should stop with the terror, because we'll never let go."
Yaniv's brother, Kobi, who traveled to Hungary on Sunday as part of his studies, spoke with the father after receiving the news. "Now I'm happy," he said. "I'm happy he won't smoke any cigarettes anymore or drink coffee and enjoy life."
Meanwhile, IDF forces arrested five wanted Palestinians in the West Bank Sunday night. The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said all detainees were taken in for questioning.
Earlier, Palestinians reported that the PA uncovered a massive Hamas weapons cache near Nablus. The PA believes Hamas planed to use to weapons to carry out attacks inside Israel.
A Palestinian source told Ynet that the PA overnight found a number of Hams warehouses in the Nablus area, which contained hundreds of kilograms of explosives, ammunition and weapons.
The discovery of the warehouses was made possible following the arrest of a Hamas military wing official near Nablus. The official was detained by the Palestinian Preventive Security Force.
Ali Waked and Shmulik Grossman contributed to this report