Israeli forces demolish home of Palestinian killed after stabbing attack

Published March 31st, 2016 - 09:39 GMT
Palestinian boy searches for toys amidst the rubble of his home. (AFP/File)
Palestinian boy searches for toys amidst the rubble of his home. (AFP/File)

Israeli forces demolished late on Wednesday night part of the home of a Palestinian who was killed after stabbing an Israeli settler in December.

Locals said that Israeli forces closed all the entrances of the Jabal al-Sharif area in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, and deployed heavily around the home of Ihab Fathi Maswada, as well as the house of Abd al-Rahman Yusri Maswada.

Ihab Maswada was killed on Dec. 7 after carrying out a stabbing attack against a settler near the Abu al-Rish checkpoint in southern Hebron. The Israeli settler succumbed to his wounds weeks later.

Maswada's cousin, Abd al-Rahman, was killed on site on Dec. 9 after stabbing two Israelis on al-Shuhada Street.

Ihab Maswada's brother said Israeli soldiers only gave the family ten minutes to evacuate the house, forcing them to go on the house's second floor while they demolished the internal walls of the home.

Maswada's mother said that Israeli soldiers then "fired a stun grenade inside the house and left the house laughing."

Israeli authorities first issued a demolition order for Maswada's home in early February, but had already threatened to destroy the house days after his death. His father said the demolition order was issued three days ago and that soldiers told them the demolition would be carried out in a week.

"We were surprised when they showed up after midnight," he said.

Punitive home demolitions were expedited at the request of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in mid-October, and many have been carried out since.

The move came despite past recommendations by an Israeli military committee that the practice does not deter 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 condemned the practice in October as "court sanctioned revenge," carried out on family members who have not committed crimes, amounting to collective punishment.


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