IDF razes home of terrorist who killed Israeli in West Bank settlement

IDF razes home of terrorist who killed Israeli in West Bank settlement

A month after deadly stabbing attack, defense minister says he made good on his promise to family of late Yotam Ovadia

The Israeli military on Tuesday demolished the home of a Palestinian terrorist who fatally stabbed an Israeli man in a West Bank settlement last month, the Defense Ministry said.

On the night of July 26, 17-year-old Muhammad Yousef from the Palestinian village of Kobar in the central West Bank entered the Adam settlement, some 18 kilometers (11 miles) away, and attacked two residents of the community outside a playground, before he was shot dead by a third.

Yousef stabbed father of two Yotam Ovadia, 31, in the upper body multiple times, killing him. He also seriously wounded a 58-year-old man.

The third Adam resident, 41-year-old Assaf Raviv, went outside to investigate the disturbance and, realizing that a terror attack was occurring, shot Yousef three times, killing him. Raviv was also stabbed and lightly injured in the incident.

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, Israeli soldiers arrived with a bulldozer and razed the home, some two weeks after posting a demolition notice.

IDF forces demolishing the home of Palestinian terrorist Muhammad Yousef in the West Bank village of Kobar on August 28, 2018. (IDF)

In the days following the deadly attack, the military raided Yousef’s family home and began taking measurements of the building in order to prepare it for demolition. Some two weeks ago, the military formally notified the family that the home was slated for destruction.

The Defense Ministry said in a statement that dozens of Palestinians rioted during the demolition, during which they “threw stones, hurled Molotov cocktails and pipe bombs, shot firecrackers and burned tires.”

The soldiers responded by employing riot control methods, the statement said, adding that there were no Israeli casualties.

“During the Shiva [period of mourning] for Yotam Ovadia in the community of Adam, I told his widow and parents that we would shortly demolish the terrorist’s home,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman wrote on Twitter on Tuesday morning. “Tonight that issue got its closure.”

“We will continue fighting terror with an iron fist, we will continue building in Adam and in any other place where our citizens are being targeted,” Liberman added.

Yotam Ovadia, who was killed in a terror attack in the West Bank settlement of Adam on July 26, 2018 Courtesy)

Ovadia was father to a 2-year-old child and a 7-month-old baby. The Brinks security company announced on its Facebook page that he worked there as a technician.

Israel says the practice of demolishing terrorists’ homes is an effective means of discouraging future attacks, though it has been criticized by human rights groups as a form of collective punishment and by some analysts as an ineffective deterrent measure.

Elsewhere in the West Bank, IDF forces arrested eight terror suspects overnight, the statement added. In the village of as-Samu, near Hebron, they located a pistol, bullets and magazines in one of the houses. On Monday, forces found homemade weapons in the village of Ein Qiniya.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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