IDF issues demolition order for Ramallah home of terrorist behind Jerusalem bombings

Eslam Froukh, 26, has been charged with planting explosives at bus stops in capital, killing two in November attack; troops map homes of gunmen who killed soldier in October

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

Eslam Froukh, the alleged terrorist behind the November 2022 bombing attacks in Jerusalem, arrives for a court hearing at the Magistrate's Court in Jerusalem, December 27, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Eslam Froukh, the alleged terrorist behind the November 2022 bombing attacks in Jerusalem, arrives for a court hearing at the Magistrate's Court in Jerusalem, December 27, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Israeli Defense Forces on Sunday night notified the family of a Palestinian terrorist charged with carrying out a deadly twin bombing attack in Jerusalem last year, that the military intends to demolish their home in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

On November 23, Eslam Froukh, 26, allegedly set off two bombs at two bus stops near entrances to the capital. The attacks killed two people — 16-year-old Aryeh Schupak and 50-year-old Tadese Tashume Ben Ma’ada — and wounded over 20.

According to the Shin Bet, Froukh, a resident of Kafr Aqab in East Jerusalem who lived much of the time in the Ramallah area, committed the attack because of his affiliation with Islamic State.

Froukh was charged in December over the deadly attack.

In January, the military mapped out both his Kafr Aqab and Ramallah homes, the first step before their potential demolition.

On Sunday, his family was formally notified of the military’s intention to raze their home in Ramallah, the Israel Defense Forces said.

16-year-old Aryeh Schupak (left), and Tadasa Tashume Ben Ma’ada, 50, (right) killed in a bombing attack at the entrance of Jerusalem, November 23, 2022. (Courtesy)

As a matter of policy, Israel regularly demolishes the homes of Palestinians accused of carrying out deadly terror attacks. The efficacy of the policy has been hotly debated even within the Israeli security establishment, while human rights activists denounce the practice as unjust collective punishment.

Froukh’s family can still appeal the decision to raze the home to Israel’s High Court of Justice. But such attempts rarely succeed, though in some cases the court can limit the demolition order to only the parts of the house used by the terrorist.

Police and security personnel at the scene of an explosion at the entrance to Jerusalem, November 23, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussil/Flash90)

Separately, the IDF said troops mapped out the homes of two Palestinian gunmen who killed a soldier in the West Bank in October 2022, early Monday morning, ahead of a potential demolition.

Abdel Kamel Jouri and Osama Taweel, members of the Nablus-based Lion’s Den terror group, were accused of killing Staff Sgt. Ido Baruch of the Givati infantry brigade’s reconnaissance unit, on October 11.

The pair were detained by the IDF last week.

Tensions have soared in the West Bank recently as the IDF has pressed on with an anti-terror offensive that has netted more than 2,500 arrests in nightly raids, left 171 Palestinians dead in 2022, and another 48 since the beginning of the year.

Many of them were killed while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces, though some were uninvolved civilians.

The operation was launched to deal with a series of attacks that left 31 people in Israel dead in 2022, and 11 more since the beginning of this year.

There has also been a rise in revenge attacks by Israelis against Palestinians following recent terror attacks.

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