Israeli forces on Wednesday destroyed the family home of a Palestinian teenager who was suspected of carrying out a deadly stabbing and shooting attack in the occupied West Bank last month.
Omar Abu Laila, 19, who was on the run, was found in a house in the village of Abwein, north of Ramallah. He was killed on March 20 after he opened fire at Israeli forces who had come to arrest him two days after the attack.
This is how Israel punishes the families of Palestinians who commit crimes against Israelis. They demolish their homes, even after the suspect is killed. Today, it was Omar Abu Laila's family home.
Collective punishment is a war crime, but for Israel, it's business as usual. pic.twitter.com/69UuRw4Hct
— JewishVoiceForPeace (@jvplive) April 24, 2019
Following the incident, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged tough action and vowed to destroy the Abu Laila family home.
Israeli soldiers surrounded the two-story home late on Tuesday in Az-Zawiya in the Salfit region of the occupied West Bank and declared the area a closed military zone before carrying out the demolition using explosives and heavy machinery.
The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) revealed that the murder of Omar Abu Laila, who carried out an operation in Salfit, in… https://t.co/4tb7HHUPtx
— ParkSlopeFoodCoopBDS (@PSFC_BDS) April 25, 2019
According to local media reports, armed soldiers and bulldozers surrounded the entire neighborhood, forcing the Abu Laila family – including Omar’s parents and four siblings – out of their home.
Some 50 other neighboring families were also forced to evacuate their homes upon the Israeli army’s arrival.
During the demolition process, which took approximately six hours, confrontations broke out between Palestinian residents and soldiers at the scene. Israeli forces fired tear gas and sound bombs towards the Palestinians, but no injuries were reported.
Israeli forces blow up the family home of Palestinian assailant Omar Abu Laila — suspected of killing an Israeli rabbi and a soldier — in Az-Zawiya village, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank pic.twitter.com/bZ0lhjsTYt
— AFP news agency (@AFP) April 24, 2019
Israel routinely demolishes the homes of Palestinians accused of attacks as part of a policy it says discourages future violence.
International rights groups have long criticized Israel for demolishing homes of alleged Palestinian attackers, saying it amounts to collective punishment.
(AJE, PC, Social Media)