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IDF notifies family of alleged Palestinian attacker of impending home demolition

After court rejects appeal, new notice given to family of Muhammad Youssef Jaradat, accused of taking part in attack that killed Yehuda Dimentman near Homesh last month

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

Israeli special forces conduct a raid in the village of Silat al-Harithiya, near Jenin to arrest the men suspected of having carried out a deadly shooting attack outside the Horesh outpost in the West Bank earlier in the week, on December 19, 2021. (Israel Defense Forces)
Israeli special forces conduct a raid in the village of Silat al-Harithiya, near Jenin to arrest the men suspected of having carried out a deadly shooting attack outside the Horesh outpost in the West Bank earlier in the week, on December 19, 2021. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israeli military said Monday that the home of an alleged Palestinian terrorist in the West Bank village of Silat al-Harithiya, near Jenin, is slated for demolition, after Israel’s top court rejected his family’s appeal against the move.

Earlier this month, the families of two other suspects in the attack were also given demolition orders.

According to the Shin Bet security agency, a cell belonging to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group carried out a deadly shooting attack last month in the northern West Bank, in which one man, Yehuda Dimentman, was killed and two others were lightly wounded.

The family of Muhammad Youssef Jaradat appealed an initial demolition order issued by the military earlier this month, but it was rejected this week by the High Court of Justice.

Jaradat’s family can still appeal the new decision to raze their home.

As a punitive policy, Israel demolishes the homes of Palestinians accused of carrying out deadly terror attacks.

In the case of the other two suspects — Ghaith Ahmed Yassin Jaradat and Mahmoud Ghaleb Jaradat — both families were given a demolition order only for the floor in which the suspect resided.

The two families have submitted appeals to the High Court.

IDF soldiers operating in the West Bank Palestinian town of Silat al-Harithiya, December 20, 2021. (Israel Defense Forces)

Appeal 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.

In December, troops came under fire while they first measured the buildings in order to determine the best way to raze the structures. There were no injuries to Israeli forces.

The potential demolition of the homes of others allegedly involved in the attack is still under review by the military.

Palestinian officials identified the other arrested individuals as Ibrahim Musa Tahaineh, Taher Abu Salah, and Omar Ahmed Yassin Jaradat.

Out of all the suspects, only two were believed to have conducted the actual shooting, while the rest were suspected of helping them or otherwise being involved in the cell.

Yehuda Dimentman. (courtesy)

Terrorists opened fire at the car Dimentman was traveling in with two other men, killing him and lightly wounding the others as they left the Homesh outpost on December 16. A military official said their car was ambushed from the side of the road.

Dimentman was a student at a yeshiva near where the attack took place. Homesh is a former settlement that was meant to have been abandoned as part of a 2005 eviction — the so-called “disengagement” — but is now the site of the illegally operated religious school.

The 25-year-old was a father of a 9-month-old son and lived in the West Bank settlement of Shavei Shomron.

The vehicle that was fired on in a terror attack near the Homesh outpost in the West Bank, on December 16, 2021. (Hillel Maeir/Flash90)

Israeli authorities often take punitive action such as home demolitions before a conviction in cases of terrorist attacks. Israel defends the 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.

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.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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