Security forces demolish homes of policewoman’s killers

Border Police officer Hadar Cohen, 19, was killed in a terror attack at Damascus Gate outside of Jerusalem's Old City on February 3, 2016. (Israel Police)


Israeli security forces early Monday morning destroyed the houses of three Palestinians who killed Border Police cadet Hadar Cohen,19, in a shooting and stabbing attack outside Jerusalem’s Old City in February

Cohen, from Or Yehuda, died hours after being shot in the head and stabbed in the neck. A second policewomen was wounded in the attack.

The three attackers, in their early 20s, were identified as Ahmed Abou al-Roub, Mohammed Kameel and Ahmad Najah Ismail Nazar, from Qabatiya in the northern West Bank. They arrived at the Damascus Gate — a flashpoint for Palestinian attacks over recent months — with rifles, knives and two pipe bombs, police said.

Cohen had been drafted into the Border Police only two months earlier, and was still in training at the time of the attack.

The family of Hadar Cohen, 19, at her funeral in Yehud, on February 4, 2016. Cohen was killed by Palestinian gunmen near Damascus Gate in Jerusalem on February 3. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The family of Hadar Cohen, 19, at her funeral in Yehud on February 4, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

She was part of a three-member squad that spotted the three Palestinians behaving suspiciously and asked to see their identification papers. As one attacker withdrew his ID card, the others opened fire and pulled out knives to attack the officers.

According to police, Cohen managed to return fire before she was mortally wounded, despite being surprised by the attackers.

Police killed the attackers on site.

According to reports at the time, Border Police top brass met to discuss a possible policy change in light of the attack, and recommended that places most likely to be attacked should only be staffed by veteran officers.

The demolitions followed a Supreme Court decision on Sunday that canceled home-demolition orders for three of four Palestinians from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sur Baher who were indicted for a September 2015 rock attack that caused the death of an Israeli motorist, Alexander Levlovitz, 64.

Alexander Levlovitz, 64, who died when he lost control of his car and crashed after terrorists threw rocks at his vehicle in Jerusalem, September 13, 2015. (Courtesy)

Alexander Levlovitz, 64, who died when he lost control of his car and crashed after terrorists threw rocks at his vehicle in Jerusalem, September 13, 2015. (Courtesy)

Security forces had prepared to fill the apartments of the three with concrete, a means of demolition that does not cause harm to other apartments in the building.

While saving the homes of the three, the decision paved the way for security forces to seal the home of the fourth Palestinian, Abed Dawidat, who was 17 at the time of the attack and who is accused of throwing the rock that hit Levlovitz’s car, causing him to suffer a heart attack and crash into a pole.

Nir Levlovitz, the victim’s son, told Army Radio Monday that the courts had disappointed the family twice — first by an earlier decision to charge the Palestinians with manslaughter rather than murder; and then by ruling against demolition orders for all four accused, despite the court’s express backing for house demolitions as a deterrent to terrorism.

Security forces, meanwhile, arrested 13 wanted Palestinians overnight Sunday and seized weapons, some of them homemade, according to a statement of the Israel Defense Forces.

timesofisrael

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