Army issues demolition order for home of Palestinian who killed soldier
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Army issues demolition order for home of Palestinian who killed soldier

Islam Yousef Abu Hamid killed Staff Sergeant Ronen Lubarsky with stone slab; IDF says home was erected on plot where a building was demolished following attack by Hamid’s brother

Ronen Lubarsky, an IDF soldier from the Duvdevan unit who died on May 26, 2018 after being critically injured by a slab thrown on his head two days earlier (Courtesy)
Ronen Lubarsky, an IDF soldier from the Duvdevan unit who died on May 26, 2018 after being critically injured by a slab thrown on his head two days earlier (Courtesy)

Israeli forces issued a demolition order on Wednesday for the home of the Palestinian who killed IDF soldier Staff Sergeant Ronen Lubarsky during a raid in a refugee camp close to Ramallah in May.

The family of 32-year-old Islam Yousef Abu Hamid was informed that the IDF intends to destroy all four stories of the building, and not just two floors as had previously been stated.

The IDF noted that the home was erected on a plot where a building was previously demolished in the 1990’s following an attack by Hamid’s brother. At the time, the family was ordered not to rebuild the structure.

A military court filed an indictment in May against Hamid, charging him with murder. The Military Advocate General requested that he be remanded until the end of proceedings against him.

According to the indictment, Hamid’s actions had been in retaliation for the January arrest of one of his brothers.

Israeli troops on June 6, 2018, arrest a Palestinian man suspected of killing an IDF soldier by dropping a stone slab on his head in the al-Am’ari refugee camp in Ramallah the month before. (Screen capture: Israel Defense Forces)

On the night of the incident, the suspect woke up to the sounds of dogs barking and soldiers shouting as they arrested two of his neighbors in an adjacent house.

Hamid climbed to the roof of a neighboring home where he chose the heavier of two marble slabs that were waiting there for him. He lifted the 40-pound slab onto the railing of the roof and hurled it down onto Lubarsky, who was standing below.

The suspect then immediately climbed back onto the roof of his home and crawled inside as soldiers tended to their injured comrade.

Lubarsky, from the central city of Rehovot, was critically injured and died of his wounds two days later.

Hamid was also charged with obstruction of justice for efforts to tamper with the crime scene hours after the incident.

According to the indictment, Hamid snuck back to the adjacent rooftop and used cleaning materials to wipe his fingerprints off of the second marble slab that he had grasped earlier, but decided against using.

Israeli troops on June 6, 2018, arrest a Palestinian man suspected of killing an IDF soldier by dropping a stone slab on his head in the al-Am’ari refugee camp in Ramallah the month before. (Israel Defense Forces)

The IDF said that the soldiers had been on a mission to arrest members of a terror cell who had been carrying out shooting attacks. The raid was based on intelligence information obtained in coordination with the Shin Bet security agency.

A few days after Lubarsky was killed, the military carried out a raid in al-Am’ari, in an apparent effort to locate the soldier’s killer. Clashes broke out between residents and the Israeli troops, with 13 Palestinians lightly or moderately injured, the Palestinian Health Ministry said at the time. Hamid was arrested in the raid.

According to the Shin Bet, Hamid had been incarcerated in Israeli prison from 2004 to 2009 for terrorist activities committed on behalf of the Hamas terrorist group.

In a statement, the security service also said Hamid’s brothers were also members of Hamas.

“Islam’s brothers are Hamas operatives who have in the past carried out terror attacks in which Israelis were killed, including Shin Bet agent Noam Cohen,” the Shin Bet said.

Cohen was killed in 1994 when Hamas members opened fire at his car while he was driving with a Hamas informant in the West Bank city of Hebron.

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