Security forces demolished on Tuesday the home of a Palestinian terrorist who killed a South African immigrant to Israel in a deadly terror attack last November in Jerusalem’s Old City.
Fadi Abu Shkhaydam opened fire at a number of Israeli men in the alleyways of the Old City, killing Eliyahu Kay and injuring four others, two of them seriously. Border Police officers returned fire, killing the attacker.
On Tuesday, officers demolished the interior of Abu Shkhaydam’s home and sealed the entrance — a practice sometimes used by security forces when an attacker lives in an apartment rather than a house.
Police said around 150 officers were involved in the operation to demolish the home. In a statement, police said that the officers came under attack on the scene, and that “means of dispersal” were used.
The military initiated the process of demolishing Abu Shkaydam’s home in East Jerusalem’s Shuafat refugee camp shortly after the attack. His family appealed the decision in court, but their requests were rejected.
Israel defends the contentious practice of razing the family homes of attackers as a deterrent against future assaults, and officials have argued that speed is essential, claiming that the deterrent factor degrades over time.
Over the years, however, a number of Israeli defense officials have questioned the efficacy of the practice, and human rights activists have denounced it as unfair collective punishment.
Abu Shkhaydam had five children — three boys and two daughters — and taught Islamic law at a boys high school, for which he received a salary from the Jerusalem municipality.
According to Israeli authorities, he was a member of Hamas’s civilian branch, rather than its armed wing.
On November 21, 2021, he drew a submachine near the Chain Gate, which leads to the holy Temple Mount site, and opened fire on passersby, fatally wounding Kay and seriously wounding two others. Kay, who was employed at the Western Wall as a tour guide, had been walking to work when he was killed.
Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.