Israeli Forces to Punitively Demolish Family House of Alleged Palestinian Attacker

HEBRON, February 25, 2016 (WAFA) – Israeli forces dawn Thursday stormed and took measurements of the family house of an alleged Palestinian attacker in Dura town, south of Hebron.

Forces stormed Dura town, where they broke into and took measurements of the family house of Mamdouh Amro, who allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli at the entrance to the Gush Etzion settlement bloc, in preparation for planned demolition.

Soldiers at the scene opened fire at Amro, injuring him and fatally wounding an off-duty army reserve officer.

The planned demolition of Amro’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.”

 

Wafa