Israel to Punitively Demolish Family House of Alleged Palestinian Stabber

RAMALLAH, January 11, 2016 (WAFA) – Israeli forces early Monday stormed the family house of a Palestinian, whom Israel killed on Saturday, after he allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli soldier at al-Hamra Israeli military checkpoint in the northern Jordan Valley, said security sources and relatives.

WAFA correspondent reported that large Israeli forces leading tracking dogs raided the hometown of 23-year-old Ali Abu Mariam in al-Jadida village, where they proceeded to break into and ransack the family house of Abu-Mariam.

Forces reportedly took photos and measurements for the house ahead of the planned demolition.

‘Ali Abu-Mariam, 23, was shot dead as he, together with Sa’id Abu al-Wafa, 38, attempted to cross al-Hamra military checkpoint in the northern Jordan Valley.

Witnesses confirmed that Israeli soldiers opened fire on the car that was carrying both Abu al-Wafa and Abu Mariam before dragging them out of the car, refuting the Israeli allegations that the said Palestinians attempted to stab soldiers.

Forces reportedly denied Palestinian Red Crescent personnel access into the scene to provide the two Palestinians with first aid, leaving them to bleed to death.

The planned demolition of Abu-Mariam’s family house came in line with the Israeli policy of punitive demolition of family houses of Palestinians suspected of carrying out attacks on Israeli targets.

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.

This policy was widely condemned by human rights organizations as “collective punishment” and “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 s 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.”