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IDF issues demolition order for home of terrorist who killed 5 in Bnei Brak

Diaa Hamarsheh’s family can appeal decision to raze residence in West Bank village of Ya’bad, where eight terror suspects were arrested overnight

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

IDF soldiers are seen operating in the West Bank town of Ya'bad, on April 10, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
IDF soldiers are seen operating in the West Bank town of Ya'bad, on April 10, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

The military on Sunday issued a demolition order for the home of a Palestinian terrorist who committed a deadly attack in Bnei Brak last month.

On March 29, Diaa Hamarsheh, 27, from the West Bank village of Ya’bad near Jenin, killed four civilians in the central ultra-Orthodox city, before he died in a shootout with police officers, one of whom was his fifth victim.

The military initiated the process of demolishing Hamarsheh’s Ya’abad home just one day after the attack.

Overnight Saturday, special forces raided the town and arrested eight Palestinians suspected of terror activity, including some with ties to the attack.

Hamarsheh’s family can appeal the demolition order to Israel’s High Court of Justice, but such attempts rarely succeed. However, in some cases, the court can limit the demolition order to only the parts of the house used by the terrorist.

Israel defends the contentious practice of razing the family homes of attackers as a deterrent against future assaults, and officials have argued that speed is essential, claiming that the deterrent factor degrades over time.

The victims of the deadly attack in Bnei Brak on March 29, 2022 clockwise from top right: Amir Khoury, Victor Sorokopot. Dimitri Mitrik, Avishai Yehezkel and Ya’akov Shalom. (Courtesy, Photos used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Over the years, however, a number of Israeli defense officials have questioned the efficacy of the practice, and human rights activists have denounced it as unfair collective punishment.

Tensions have risen sharply between Israel and the Palestinians in recent weeks against the backdrop of repeated terror attacks in Israeli cities that left 13 dead. The army has stepped up its West Bank activities in an attempt to crack down on the spiraling violence.

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