Israel demolished four homes of Palestinian terrorists in the West Bank overnight Friday, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement early Saturday morning. Three of the homes were in Nablus, in the northern West Bank, and the fourth in the central town of Silwad, near Ramallah.
The four were involved in recent terror attacks that claimed the lives of three Israelis, the IDF said. Three of those who had their homes razed planned and carried out the attack on Eitam and Naama Henkin, shooting them dead as they drove in the West Bank with their four young children on October 1. The fourth shot and killed Malachy Rosenfeld in a drive-by attack on June 29.
“Overnight, in accordance with directives of the Minister of Defense, Moshe Ya’alon, security personnel demolished the residences of Yahia Muhammad Naif Abdullah Hajj Hamad, Samir Zahir Ibrahim Kusah, and Karem Lufti Fatahi Razek, in Nablus and the residence of Maad Hamed in Silwad,” the IDF said in an emailed statement.
“On October 1st, Yahia Muhammad Naif Abdullah Hajj Hamad, Samir Zahir Ibrahim Kusah, and Karem Lufti Fatahi Razek plotted and executed the lethal attack on Naama and Eitan Henkin. The terrorist shot and murdered the two parents in front of their four children on the main route between the communities of Alon Moreh and Itamar. On June 29, Maad Hamed shot and murdered Malachy Rosenfeld on his way back from a basketball game,” the statement said.
The moves comes after the High Court on Thursday upheld demolition orders for five homes belonging to the families of Palestinians accused or convicted of carrying out terror attacks. The ruling lifted a temporary injunction on the demolitions issued by Justice Uzi Vogelman last month, in response to petitions submitted on behalf of family members of terrorists whose homes were slated to be destroyed.
The court, however, did reject one demolition order on the grounds that it involved a rented apartment in a large building, and that destroying the unit would constitute a disproportionate punishment.
The practice of demolishing the family homes of terrorists has been criticized by non-governmental groups, but government officials have defended its use as a deterrent against attacks.
Critics claim that in addition to being a form of collective punishment, house demolitions could motivate family members of terrorists to launch attacks themselves.