The IDF on Monday demolished the home of a Palestinian terrorist who murdered an American tourist and injured several other people in a stabbing spree in March.
The army said in a statement that it carried out the demolition in the West Bank village of Kafr Haja, near Nablus, in coordination with the Civil Administration and Border Police.
Bashar Massalha, 22, from Qalqilya, murdered US citizen Taylor Force and injured 10 others in a rampage along the Jaffa boardwalk on March 8. He was killed by security forces at the scene of the attack, which coincided with a visit by US Vice President Joe Biden, who was meeting with Shimon Peres minutes away from the scene. Last month Israel returned Massalha’s body to the Palestinian Authority for burial.
Force was a US Army veteran who had done tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He graduated from West Point Military Academy in 2009 and served as a field artillery officer from 2009 to 2014 at Fort Hood.
The Vanderbilt graduate student was repatriated three days after the attack, following a service at Ben Gurion Airport attended by American-born former MK Dov Lipman, Force’s friend and former West Point Military Academy classmate David Simpkins, and members of the US diplomatic corps and military in Israel.
The practice of demolishing the family homes of terrorists has been criticized by local and foreign nongovernmental rights groups, but Israeli officials have defended the measure as a deterrent against future attacks.
Critics claim that, in addition to being a form of collective punishment, house demolitions could motivate family members of terrorists to carry out attacks themselves.