The Israel Defense Forces on Tuesday issued a demolition order for the home of a Palestinian man suspected of carrying out a shooting attack at a West Bank industrial park last month in which two Israelis were killed.
The head of the IDF Central Command, Maj. Gen. Nadav Padan, put out the order for the basement and ground floors of Ashraf Na’alowa’s family’s home in the northern West Bank village of Shuweika, as these were the floors where the suspected terrorist lived, military said.
Under the military’s decision, these two floors would be destroyed, while the rest of the home would be left undisturbed.
Tuesday’s demolition order came after the military rejected an appeal by Na’alowa’s family against the home’s destruction, following an initial demolition order issued last month.
Na’alowa’s family has until Sunday to file an appeal with the High Court of Justice against the new order.
IDF troops were still searching for Na’alowa, 23, who has been on the run since killing his coworkers Kim Levengrond Yehezkel and Ziv Hajbi on October 7 at the factory in the Barkan Industrial Zone where he was employed. A third Israeli, Sara Vaturi, was wounded in the attack.
“Security forces are continuing the hunt for the terrorist and will continue to act resolutely to thwart terror attack and to deter potential attackers,” the army said in a statement.
Israel says the practice of demolishing terrorists’ homes is an effective means of discouraging future attacks, though it has been criticized by human rights groups as a form of collective punishment and by some analysts as an ineffective deterrent measure.
Officials reportedly believe that Na’alowa, who is said to have left a suicide note before the attack, is preparing to engage troops when they close in on him in a firefight that could turn deadly.
The military launched an investigation of the Barkan attack to determine, among other things, how the gun was smuggled into the industrial park and whether the terrorist had intended to take Levengrond Yehezkel hostage, having used zip-ties to bind her hands before shooting her.
Levengrond Yehezkel was a secretary while Hajbi worked in accounting at the Alon Group’s factory in the industrial park. Na’alowa was employed there as an electrician.
The army has said Na’alowa had no history of terrorist activities and was not associated with to any terror groups, though several of them applauded his actions.
Several members of Na’alowa’s family have been detained or arrested following the attack. The Israeli military has issued a number of warnings to Palestinians in the northern West Bank not to assist Na’alowa.
A Palestinian security official has confirmed to The Times of Israel that Palestinian Authority security forces are assisting in the search for Na’alowa.