Israel to raze Jerusalem home of Palestinian gunman behind deadly checkpoint attack

Military announces intention to demolish Udai Tamimi’s Shuafat refugee camp home, a month after attack in which Sgt. Noa Lazar was killed

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Palestinian youths clash with Israeli security forces in the Shuafat Refugee Camp, Jerusalem, October 10, 2022. (Flash90, file)
Palestinian youths clash with Israeli security forces in the Shuafat Refugee Camp, Jerusalem, October 10, 2022. (Flash90, file)

The Israel Defense Forces said Wednesday it would demolish the Jerusalem home of a Palestinian gunman who killed an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint near the capital last month.

Udai Tamimi is accused of killing Sgt. Noa Lazar, 18, and seriously wounding a civilian guard on October 8 at a checkpoint near the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem.

Tamimi fled the scene and was killed while attempting to commit another attack at a checkpoint near the entrance of the West Bank settlement city of Ma’aleh Adumim on October 19. One security guard was lightly hurt.

Israel regularly demolishes the homes of Palestinians accused of carrying out deadly terror attacks as a matter of policy. The efficacy of the policy has been hotly debated even within the Israeli security establishment, while human rights activists denounce the practice as unjust collective punishment.

An appeal can be submitted against the planned demolition of the home, located in the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, but such attempts rarely succeed.

Earlier this week, Palestinian media accused the Jerusalem municipality of demolishing a bakery outside the camp as an act of retribution against Tamimi’s family.

Udai Tamimi is seen opening fire at a checkpoint near the West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim on October 19, 2022. (Video screenshot: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

The municipality denied the charge, saying it was unaware that the building was reportedly being rented out by the gunman’s family, and that demolition orders had been issued as far back as 2014.

Tamimi’s father, Kamal Tamimi, told al-Jazeera that he had no knowledge of his son’s plans, but was “proud of him.” He added that he and members of his family received threats that their homes and businesses would be demolished.

Israel’s policy is only to demolish homes, or parts of a home specifically used by Palestinians who carry out deadly terror attacks, and never businesses.

Sgt Noa Lazar, 18, who was killed in a shooting attack in East Jerusalem on October 8, 2022. (Israel Defence Forces)

On Monday, prosecutors filed indictments against two East Jerusalem men for supplying Tamimi with the gun used in the attacks.

The condition of the seriously wounded guard in the attack, 30-year-old David Morel, has since improved and he was transferred to a rehabilitation center on Tuesday.

Dr. Guy Rosenthal, director of Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center’s neurosurgical intensive care unit, is seen with David Morel’s family members, as the security guard wounded in a shooting attack is released from the hospital for rehabilitation, November 8, 2022. (Hadassah Medical Center)

Tensions have soared in the West Bank recently as the IDF has pressed on with an anti-terror offensive mostly focused on the northern West Bank to deal with a series of attacks that have left 26 people in Israel dead since the start of the year.

The operation has netted more than 2,000 arrests in near-nightly raids, but has also left over 130 Palestinians dead, many of them — but not all — while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces.

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