IDF notifies family of alleged Palestinian stabber of impending home demolition

Younis Hilan has been charged with murdering Shalom Sofer in West Bank village of al-Funduq in October

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

In this handout photo, IDF troops detain the Palestinian suspected of stabbing an Israeli man in the West Bank village of al-Funduq on October 25, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
In this handout photo, IDF troops detain the Palestinian suspected of stabbing an Israeli man in the West Bank village of al-Funduq on October 25, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israeli military on Wednesday night informed the family of a Palestinian man, who allegedly stabbed and killed an Israeli man in a West Bank village in October, that their home is slated for demolition.

On October 25, Younis Hilan stabbed 63-year-old Shalom Sofer as he exited a store in al-Funduq, a Palestinian village near Kedumim. He was hospitalized in serious condition and later released to his home, where he died around two weeks later.

Hilan, from the adjacent village of Hajjah, was arrested several hours after the stabbing following a manhunt in the area of the attack.

On November 15, Israeli troops measured Hilan’s home, the first step before its potential demolition.

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

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.

Shalom Sofer (courtesy)

Hilan’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.

Hilan was charged in December with intentionally causing the death of Sofer — the military court’s equivalent of murder — and other security offenses.

He was to remain in custody until the end of legal proceedings, the IDF said.

Israeli troops measure the home of Younis Hilan, accused of stabbing an Israeli man to death in October, in the West Bank village of Hajjah on November 15, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

Tensions have soared in the West Bank recently as the IDF has pressed on with an anti-terror offensive to deal with a series of Palestinian attacks that killed 31 people in 2022.

The IDF’s operation has netted more than 2,500 arrests in near-nightly raids. It also left over 170 Palestinians dead in 2022, and another seven since the beginning of the year, many of them while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces, though some were uninvolved civilians.

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