Israel to demolish the family home of Palestinian bus attacker

Published November 12th, 2015 - 02:00 GMT

Israeli authorities on Thursday issued a demolition order in occupied East Jerusalem to the family home of a Palestinian who carried out an attack on an Israeli bus last month, the family said.

Bahaa Elayyan, 22, was shot dead during an attack on Oct. 13 that left three Israelis dead. His family's home in the Jabal al-Mukkabir neighborhood is the most recent to face Israel’s revamped policy of punitive home demolition.

Bahaa’s father, Muhammad, told Ma’an that Israeli authorities issued the demolition order, giving the family until Friday to appeal.

Muhammad said that the home -- a 130 square meter flat -- is on the second story of an apartment building, and that its demolition would likely result in damage or destruction of the first and third floors.

Muhammad added that Israeli authorities are still in possession of Bahaa’s body.

The demolition order marks the latest use of the punitive measure by Israeli authorities.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expedited punitive home demolitions the day after Bahaa carried out the attack alongside Bilal Abu-Ghanem, 23, also a Jabal al-Mukabbir resident.

The attack was one of many in a series of attacks carried out by Palestinians on Israeli military and civilians in Jerusalem last month.

The move came despite past recommendations by an Israeli military committee that the practice did not deter future attacks.

While families who receive demolition orders are given the opportunity to appeal the measures, Israel’s High Court of Justice typically rejects such appeals, according to Israeli watchdog Hamoked.

Israeli rights group B’Tselem meanwhile condemned the practice last month as “court sanctioned revenge” carried out on family members who have not committed crimes, amounting to collective punishment.

In addition home demolitions, punitive measures including withholding the bodies of Palestinians involved in attacks, arbitrary detention of family members, and closure of neighborhoods have also been implemented in East Jerusalem.

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