Israel to Punitively Demolish Family Home of Alleged Palestinian Suspect

NABLUS, November 4, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Wednesday informed the family of a Palestinian prisoner incarcerated in Israeli jails about their intention to demolish their home located in the village of Beita, south of Nablus, according to local sources.

Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activities in northern West Bank, said an army force broke into the village and informed the family of 26-year-old Tamer Khdeir, about their intention to demolish their home.

Soldiers also took measurements of the house in preparation of the demolition.

On October 25, 2015, Khdeir was stabbed and injured by Israeli settlers outside the illegal settlement of Ariel in central West Bank.

Despite of this, and hours after the incident, Israeli army and security forces detained him from his village, claiming he had attempted to carry out a stabbing attack in the settlement before the incident occurred.

In mid-October 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to take strict measures against Palestinians suspected of carrying out attacks on Israeli targets, as well as to pursue those ‘who stand behind’ them.

‘We are in the midst of a wave of terror of knives, firebombs, stones and live fire,’ Netanyahu told reporters.

‘These actions are mostly not organized, but they are all the result of wild and untruthful incitement from Hamas, from the Palestinian Authority, from several neighboring counties and, no less, from the Islamic Movement in Israel.’

Israel resorts to punitively demolish the family homes of any Palestinians – as means of deterrence – accused of being involved in attacks against Israelis, a policy that Israel does not use against Israeli settlers who were involved in fatal attacks against Palestinians.

Al-Haq human rights group slammed the punitive home demolition of Palestinians suspected of being involved in attacks against Israelis, as a collective punishment and that in accordance with humanitarian law and human rights law, it is assessed as a war crime and a crime against humanity.

B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group, says: “The people who bear the brunt of the [punitive] demolitions are relatives – including women, the elderly, and children – whom Israel does not suspect of involvement in any offense.”

“In the vast majority of cases, the person whose actions prompted the demolition was not even living in the house at the time of the demolition,” adds the group.

“The official objective of the house demolition policy is deterrence … yet the deterrent effect of house demolitions has never been proven.”

It said that, “Since this constitutes deliberate harm to innocents, it is clear that even if house demolition had the desired deterrent effect, it would, nevertheless, remain unlawful.”

Amnesty International, argued that, the Israeli authorities’ claim that such demolitions are effective in dissuading potential attackers “is entirely irrelevant in the eyes of International humanitarian law, which places clear limits on the actions which an occupying power may take in the name of security, and the absolute prohibition on collective punishment is one of the most important of these rules.”

“Collective punishment is never permissible under any circumstances.”

Late 2014, The US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki contended that such a move amounted to collective punishment and would only heighten tensions in the region.

On July 31, suspected Jewish extremists threw Molotov cocktails inside a Palestinian home in the village of Duma, setting it ablaze. The arson attack killed toddler Ali Dawabsha, and fatally wounded his parents.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon confirmed that Israeli security forces know who was behind the deadly arson attack in Duma, however, no arrests had been made in order to avoid exposing intelligence sources in court, reported media outlets.

‘We know who is responsible, but we will not expose those findings in order to protect our intelligence sources,” said Ya’alon during a  meeting of the Likud youth branch in early September 2015.

In response, Member of Knesset Aida Toma-Suleiman (Joint Arab List) said that, ‘Would it even be possible to think that the defense establishment would act the same way if a Jewish family was murdered. Ya’alon’s remarks confirm the forgiving attitude within the system towards settler terrorism, which allows for the next murder,’ reported the Israeli Ynet News.

There has been fluctuating tension across the West Bank districts and Jerusalem since early October 2015, mainly due to provocative visits by Jewish fanatics to the city’s al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the third holiest place in Islam.

Since early October, Israeli police and soldiers killed 74 Palestinians, while over 2,240 others have been injured.