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IDF seals home of Palestinian accused in deadly rock attack

Teenager Abed Dawiat is on trial, charged with being the key attacker in incident that caused Alexander Levlovitz’s death

Three of the four Palestinian suspects arrested for a fatal rock-throwing attack on September 13, 2015 in Jerusalem that killed Alexander Levlovitz. From left to right: Abed Muhammad Abed Rabu Dawiat, 19, Muhammad Salah Muhammad Abu Kaf, 18 and Walid Fares Mustafa Atrash, 18. (Shin Bet)
Three of the four Palestinian suspects arrested for a fatal rock-throwing attack on September 13, 2015 in Jerusalem that killed Alexander Levlovitz. From left to right: Abed Muhammad Abed Rabu Dawiat, 19, Muhammad Salah Muhammad Abu Kaf, 18 and Walid Fares Mustafa Atrash, 18. (Shin Bet)

The IDF on Monday sealed the home of a Palestinian teenager who is on trial for causing the death of an Israeli man in a rock-throwing attack last year.

Army and police units entered the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Tsur Baher and cemented the home of Abed Dawiat, who was 17 at the time of the September 2015 incident.

Alexander Levlovitz, 64, was driving home from a Rosh Hashanah meal when a group of stone-throwers waylaid his car in southern Jerusalem. He lost control of the vehicle, drove into a pole and was killed.

Four Palestinians from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Tsur Baher were indicted over the attack. Courts ruled that Dawiat was the one who threw the deadly rock and stood closest to Levlovitz’s car in the island dividing two lanes of traffic.

On Sunday the Supreme Court canceled home-demolition orders for the three other Palestinians accused of taking part in the attack, while ruling that Dawiat’s home could be destroyed.

“From the administrative evidence and the indictment, the three are charged as accessories due to their presence at the event, the stones they threw at other passing vehicles and the handing of stones to Dawiat,” Justice Esther Hayut wrote in the decision, according to the Ynet news site.

“With that, no one disputes that the throwing of the deadly stone was done by Dawiat alone, who stood, as noted, on the traffic island and threw from a very short distance while the others stood farther away.”

The three accessories, Hayut ruled, “had a far smaller part in the incident than Dawiat.”

Alexander Levlovitz, 64, who died when he lost control of his car and crashed after terrorists threw rocks at his vehicle in Jerusalem, September 13, 2015. (Courtesy)
Alexander Levlovitz, 64, who died when he lost control of his car and crashed after terrorists threw rocks at his vehicle in Jerusalem, September 13, 2015. (Courtesy)

Security forces had been preparing to fill the apartments of the three assailants with concrete, a means of demolition that does not cause harm to other apartments in the building.

Israeli officials have said home demolitions against assailants and their families are a deterrent against future attacks.

However, critics say the measure is a form of collective punishment.

Homes of 11 Palestinian assailants have been demolished by security forces since Sepember — of which three were for attacks carried out in 2014 or mid-2015, before the latest wave of violence.

Another 124 attackers’ homes were mapped and examined by IDF engineers in preparation for demolition, but are pending court approvals to carry them out. Six demolition orders are awaiting implementation, and seven preliminary warnings have been issued, according to Ynet.

In the past six months, 29 Israelis and four foreign nationals have been killed in attacks by Palestinians. Nearly 200 Palestinians have also been killed, some two-thirds of them while attacking Israelis, and the rest during clashes with troops, according to the Israeli army.

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