Video footage of the attack shows a man the army says was Moataz Khawaja, 23, shooting three men from behind – in one of Tel Aviv’s busiest streets – before being shot and killed by Israeli police. Hamas claimed him as a member of its armed wing, AP reported.
On Tuesday, the army destroyed Khawaja’s home in the town of Naalin, northwest of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. The army said people burned tires, threw stones and shot fireworks at Israeli forces who were razing the site.
Nilin mayor Yusef Khawaja said Israeli troops made all residents of the four-storey apartment block leave their homes before demolishing the shooter’s first floor flat at dawn, AFP reported.
The army released video of troops setting explosive charges before blowing up the apartment.
Large portraits of Khawaja had been draped over the side of the building, commemorating him as a “martyr”, an AFP photographer reported.
Troops clashed with “rioters” during the operation, the army said. The mayor said three people were injured.
Israel, which has occupied the West Bank since 1967, routinely demolishes the homes of attackers in an attempt to deter others, a tactic critics say amounts to collective punishment. Human rights activists say the policy amounts to collective punishment, as it can render non-combatants, including children, homeless.
Khawaja’s father Salah was defiant after the Israeli operation. “This hateful act will only strengthen our love for the homeland... Jerusalem and the faith (Islam), and, with God’s help, our roots will remain anchored here,” he told AFP.