Israeli forces demolished the home of a Palestinian terrorist who killed a Border Police officer in a stabbing and shooting attack outside the Old City of Jerusalem, the army said Thursday morning.
In the West Bank village of Deir Abu Mashal, the IDF, Border Police and Defense Ministry’s Civil Administration destroyed the home of Adel Ankush, 18, using a controlled explosion.
His home had been sealed with concrete by security forces last week. It was not immediately clear why the army destroyed the home after it had already been made unusable. Generally, the court allows the army to perform one action or the other, not both.
According to the Palestinian Ma’an news outlet, the home caught fire after blowing up and forces had to be called in to douse the flames.
Ankush, Bra’a Saleh Atta, 18, and Usama Ahmed Atta’s, 19 carried out a combined shooting and stabbing attack outside the Old City of Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate on June 16 in which officer Hadas Malka, 23, was killed.
The Attas’ homes were demolished last week. All three hailed from from Deir Abu Mashal, west of Ramallah.
Malka was stabbed to death after running over to help when two of the assailants attacked a different group of Border Police officers, with a Carlo-style submachine gun and a knife. The assailants were eventually shot and killed.
Four other people, including another police officer, were injured in the attack. They all sustained light to moderate wounds.
Last month, the army issued demolition orders for the terrorists’ houses. Home demolitions are a common, but controversial, measure taken by the IDF after deadly attacks. Israel largely abandoned the practice in 2005, before starting it up again in 2014.
On Wednesday, Israeli forces demolished the home of Omar al-Abed, a Palestinian terrorist who stabbed to death three members of a family after sneaking into the West Bank settlement of Halamish on July 21.
Israel argues that home demolitions are not punishments, but rather serve as a deterrent, preventing future attacks, according to section 119 of Israel’s Emergency Security Regulations.
The practice’s detractors decry it as a form of collective punishment on the families of terrorists. Others argue that home demolitions are ineffective in preventing terror attacks.
In addition to the home demolition, the IDF also arrested 12 Palestinians during raids across the West Bank overnight.
Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.