Three Hamas operatives identified as responsible for the murder of a British-Israeli mother and her two daughters in a 7 April terror attack were eliminated by Israeli Special Operations units during a vigorous gunbattle in the Palestinian city of Nablus.
By Erin Viner
The Islamis Hamas rulers of Gaza confirmed that the killed men as members of its armed wing that carried out the 7 April shooting that murdered Leah “Lucy” Dee, 48, and her daughters Maia, 20, and Rina, 15.
Hundreds of the terrorists’ supporters marched in their funeral procession through the streets of the city as gunmen fired into the air.
The gunmen opened fire at short range at the Jordan Valley’s Hamra Junction on the family members, who were on a Passover holiday trip from their home in the Judean mountain community of Efrat. The terror cell then fled westward toward Nablus.
Rina and her sister Maia died at the scene of the crime, while their succumbed to her wounds days later at a Jerusalem hospital despite efforts to save her life.
British Foreign Minister James Cleverly described the attack as “abhorrent.”
The victims were survived by the father Rabbi Leo Dee and three other children. In a radio interview with Israeli public Kan channel, Rabbi Dee thanked the Israeli security forces. Noting that he was more consoled by meeting transplant patients this week who had received his wife’s organs, he commented that the donations were “a great comfort” to his family.
Acting on pinpoint intelligence, Border Police and IDF Special Operations participated in the Israel Security Agency (ISA, Shin Bet)-led mission to surrounded the terrorists’ hideout in the Old City of Nablus. Refusing orders to surrender, the wanted men opened fire and hurled explosives at the Israeli forces, who responded with live fire.
A beloved dog belonging to the Border Police National Counter-Terrorism Unit (INCT, Yamam) died while trying to protect the Israeli troops, who suffered no injuries. A later Yamam statement praised the canine warrior for years of service, which included hundreds of counter-terror operations that resulted in the capture and elimination of countless terrorists.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately released a statement lauding “the security agencies and our brave soldiers who worked night and day, to settle accounts with the murderers. This morning, we settled accounts with the murderers of Lucy, Maya and Rina Dee, may their memories be blessed.”
The Israeli leader went on to vow, “Our message to those who harm us – and those who want to harm us -is that whether it takes a day, a week or a month: you can be certain that we will settle accounts with you. It does not matter where you try to hide – we will find you. Whoever attacks us will pay the price.”
Hamas Spokesman Hazem Qassem responded with a threat that “’the ‘occupation’ will pay the price for its crimes against our people and for the assassination.”
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, Spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, blamed Israel for the escalation and called on the United States to intervene.
In related developments, a Palestinian woman was shot and killed after stabbing an IDF soldier stationed on the main road in the flashpoint West Bank town of Huwara. “The wounded soldier and I opened fire toward her and succeeded in neutralizing her,” said another troop, who can only be identified as First Corporal “A.”
Both wounded people were rushed to hospital for medical treatment. The victim survived the attack, while his assailant later died of her injuries.
The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the woman as Iman Odeh, 26.