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IDF levels home of terrorist who killed American tourist

West Bank house of Bashar Massalha, who murdered Taylor Force in March stabbing spree on Jaffa promenade, demolished

Taylor Force, murdered in Israel by a Palestinian terrorist in March 2016, gave his name to the Taylor Force Act, legislation proposing to halt US aid to the Palestinian Authority until the latter stops paying stipends to terrorists and their families. (Facebook)
Taylor Force, murdered in Israel by a Palestinian terrorist in March 2016, gave his name to the Taylor Force Act, legislation proposing to halt US aid to the Palestinian Authority until the latter stops paying stipends to terrorists and their families. (Facebook)

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.

Israeli and American officials participate in a good-bye ceremony for Taylor Force, the US citizen killed in a stabbing terror attack in Jaffa, as his body is sent back to be buried in the United States, at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, on Friday, March 11, 2016. (Flash90)
Israeli and American officials participate in a ceremony for Taylor Force, the US citizen killed in a stabbing terror attack in Jaffa, as his body is sent back to be buried in the United States, at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, on Friday, March 11, 2016. (Flash90)

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.

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