Daily Israel Report

IDF Destroys Home of Hamas Leader Believed Behind Abduction

Turkey-based Salah al-Arouri's home in Samaria reportedly searched and destroyed by IDF forces Thursday night.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 6/20/2014, 9:18 AM

Arab home demolished (illustration)
Arab home demolished (illustration)
Flash 90

The terrorist organization Hamas claims that the IDF destroyed the Samaria home of a Hamas leader living in Turkey on Thursday night.

The claim comes after an IDF source on Thursday revealed that the leader, Salah al-Arouri, likely is behind the kidnapping of the three Israeli teens last week.

Al-Arouri, who lives currently in Turkey and is a member of the Hamas political bureau, in the past lived in the Arab village of Arora to the north of Ramallah in Samaria.

His Arora home was destroyed on Thursday night, according to a report Friday morning from the Hamas Al-Aqsa news agency, reports Walla!. The IDF's 900 Brigade infantry unit reportedly was active in the Ramallah area Thursday night.

The Hamas report claimed that al-Arouri's family living in the home received an eviction notice overnight, and in the morning IDF soldiers raided the empty home, searching it intensively and then proceeding to destroy it.

A senior IDF source spoke to Walla! on Thursday, saying that while Israel still doesn't have the "smoking gun" proving al-Arouri's involvement, "I have no doubt that al-Arouri's hand is behind this."

In the last two years dozens of delegates for al-Arouri have visited Judea and Samaria according to the source, arriving through Jordan. While several of them were arrested, the security system only learned of others as they were on their way back out of Israel.

Those that were arrested had with them money and written messages from al-Arouri himself, specifically ordering Hamas operatives in Judea and Samaria to establish terror cells to conduct kidnapping attacks.

The source noted that al-Arouri has in the past deceitfully used charity institutions to funnel funds to terror cells designed to kidnap Israelis.

Reports last December revealed that Turkey has replaced Iran as the leading financial backer of Hamas since 2012; Turkey is the only NATO member to recognize Hamas. According to the reports, Ankara has hosted a Hamas presence, led by al-Arouri, which facilitates operations and cash transfers, mostly to Judea and Samaria.