Israel Demolishes 3 Homes Belonging to Alleged Palestinian Assailants in Ramallah

Israeli army's collective punishment campaign of Deir Abu Mashaal extended for weeks. (Photo: Btselem)

Israeli forces demolished three homes belonging to the families of alleged Palestinian attackers, while another home was sealed, in the villages of Deir Abu Mashaal and Silwad in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah during pre-dawn hours on Thursday, leaving dozens of Palestinians homeless.

Israeli forces demolished the family homes of two alleged attackers in Deir Abu Mashaal: Baraa Ibrahim Saleh, 18, and Osama Ahmad Atta, 19.

Meanwhile, the family home of the third alleged assailant Hassan Ankosh, 18, was sealed, not demolished, according to an Israeli army spokesperson.

The families received demolition orders last month after the youths allegedly carried out a deadly attack near Damascus Gate in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, which left an Israeli police officer dead. The three Palestinians were shot dead at the scene by Israeli forces.

According to The Jerusalem Post, the families of Saleh and Atta had petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court in order to challenge the demolitions. The court ruled that only the second story of the houses would be demolished, leaving the ground floors intact, while the second floor of the Ankosh family home would be sealed off.

Locals told Ma’an that some 50 Israeli army vehicles had raided the village, alongside Israeli bulldozers which demolished the homes. Israeli drones also flew above the village at the time.

Locals said that Israeli forces had declared a curfew in the village, prohibiting any residents from exiting their homes, during the demolition in order to avoid clashes. However, calls to resist the demolition were blared through the loudspeakers of the village’s mosque.

Clashes subsequently erupted in the village, leaving three “youths” injured with Israeli-fired live ammunition, locals said.

According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, a total of 22 people, the three mens’ family members, have been left homeless by the punitive demolitions in spite of not having been charged with any wrongdoing.

Israeli forces also demolished the home of Malik Hamid in Silwad village. Hamid, 23, allegedly carried out a vehicular ramming attack near Israel’s illegal settlement of Ofra in April, leaving an Israeli soldier dead and another injured. Hamid was shot and detained by Israeli forces following the attack.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fast-tracked punitive home demolitions in an effort to “deter” attacks carried out by Palestinian individuals since an increase in violence erupted across the occupied Palestinian territory in late 2015.

The demolitions were carried out despite past recommendations by an Israeli military committee that the practice did not deter attacks. However, Israeli rights group B’Tselem has pointed out that even if the policy was proven to deter Palestinian attacks on Israelis, the policy would remain “unlawful,” as it “constitutes deliberate harm to innocents.”

(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)

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