IDF to demolish home of Har Adar terrorist
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IDF to demolish home of Har Adar terrorist

Army gives family notice that house to be destroyed in 72 hours, unless order is disputed in court

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Soldiers present the family of a terrorist who killed three Israeli guards with a demolition order for his house in the West Bank village of Bayt Surik on October 3, 2017. (Israel Defense Forces)
Soldiers present the family of a terrorist who killed three Israeli guards with a demolition order for his house in the West Bank village of Bayt Surik on October 3, 2017. (Israel Defense Forces)

The army announced on Tuesday morning that it would demolish the home of a Palestinian terrorist who shot dead three Israeli guards at the Har Adar settlement last week.

A copy of the demolition order was affixed to the house and given to family members of the terrorist, Nimer Mahmoud Ahmad Jamal. They have 72 hours to appeal the decision or the home, located in the nearby Palestinian village of Bayt Surik, would be torn down, an army spokesperson said.

Nimer Mahmoud Ahmed Jamal, who carried out a terror attack in the settlement of Har Adar on September 26, 2017 (Facebook)

Last Monday morning, the 37-year-old Jamal approached the rear entrance of the settlement with a group of Palestinian laborers. When he was called to stop, he removed a stolen handgun from his shirt and opened fire at the Israeli security officers guarding the gate.

One Border Police officer, Solomon Gavriyah, 20, and two private security guards — Youssef Ottman, 25, of the nearby Arab Israeli town of Abu Ghosh, and Or Arish, 25, of Har Adar — were killed in the attack. The settlement’s security coordinator, Amit Steinhart, was also wounded.

The next day, the IDF measured Jamal’s home, which is the first step taken ahead of demolition. The process of knocking down a terrorist’s house after an attack can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the circumstances.

One of the quickest incidents of home demolition took place following a brutal terror attack in the Halamish settlement, in which a 19-year-old Palestinian man, Omar al-Abed, stabbed to death three members of the Salomon family.

Al-Abed’s home was destroyed in under a month. However, in general, it tends to take more time as the demolition orders are usually fought in court. The judges typically uphold the military’s demolition order, but implementation is delayed by several months.

From left to right: Solomon Gavriyah, Youssef Ottman and Or Arish, three Israelis killed in a terror attack outside the settlement of Har Adar on September 26, 2017 (Courtesy)

Israel made frequent use of home demolitions until 2005, when the government decided to stop employing the measure. However, in 2014, they were brought back into use.

There is a dispute among security analysts and officials over the utility of home demolitions in combating terrorism, with some seeing it as a deterrent for terror attacks and others as an ineffective form of collective punishment.

A Carlo-style submachine gun found by the IDF during a raid in the West Bank city of Hebron on October 3, 2017. (Israel Defense Forces)

Elsewhere in the West Bank on early Tuesday morning, the army arrested eight Palestinian suspects and confiscated a makeshift Carlo-style submachine gun.

The locally produced weapon was seized during a raid in the West Bank city of Hebron, the army said.

In nearby Idna, soldiers also confiscated “thousands of shekels that were meant [to fund] terror,” according to an IDF statement.

Alexander Fulbright contributed to this report.

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