Israel demolishes home of Palestinian following car ramming attack

Published March 8th, 2016 - 08:18 GMT
The interior walls of the Skafi home. (Social media)
The interior walls of the Skafi home. (Social media)

Israeli forces early Tuesday demolished the interior walls of a home belonging to a Palestinian killed after reportedly running his car into Israeli border police, one of whom later died from their wounds.

Locals told Ma'an that dozens of Israeli soldiers stormed Nimra neighborhood of the occupied West Bank city of Hebron and surrounded a two-story house belonging to the Skafi family.

The soldiers then manually demolished the interior walls of an apartment on the second floor of the house where Ibrahim Skafi, 22, lived.

Israeli forces shot Skafi dead on Nov. 4 after he reportedly ran his vehicle into Israeli border police stationed at al-Hawawir junction near Halhul in the Hebron district, injuring two.

One of the officers, identified as 19-year-old Benjamin Yaakovovich, died days later from his wounds.

The destruction of Skafi's home was the most recent to be carried out through Israel's policy of punitive demolition.

The measure, which legalizes the destruction of homes belonging to Palestinians who carry out attacks or are suspected of carrying out attacks on Israelis, has been slammed by the international community as collective punishment, illegal under international law.

According to Human Rights Watch, punitive demolitions were halted in 2005 following an Israeli military report that the practice did not deter attackers but instead increased hostility against Israel.

The practice was resumed in 2014 -- with the exception of one demolition in 2009 -- and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following an increase in attacks in October called to shorten the legal process necessary to carry out punitive demolitions.

Dozens of punitive demolitions have been carried out since in what Israeli rights group B'Tselem labelled in October as "court-sanctioned revenge."

While the Israeli PM vowed in October to bring to justice anyone -- Palestinian or Israeli -- who carries out violent attacks, punitive demolitions are implemented solely on Palestinian homes.

Palestinian ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour last month said in a statement that numerous families have been rendered homeless due to the practice.

"Surely, such violations can only provoke more rage towards the occupation and further inflame tensions and hatred," Mansour said.


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