Security forces seal off bedroom of Sarona terrorist
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Security forces seal off bedroom of Sarona terrorist

Khalid Muhamra’s family home near Hebron was partially demolished after 2016 attack, but his family continued to use the space

IDF soldiers prepare to seal off the bedroom of Palestinian terrorist Khalid Muhamra in the West Bank town of Yatta on November 16, 2017. (IDF)
IDF soldiers prepare to seal off the bedroom of Palestinian terrorist Khalid Muhamra in the West Bank town of Yatta on November 16, 2017. (IDF)

IDF soldiers and border police on Thursday sealed the bedroom of a Palestinian terrorist who killed four Israelis in a Tel Aviv shooting attack last year.

Khalid Muhamra’s family home in the Hebron-area village of Yatta had already been partially demolished in 2016 per a court order, but the family had reportedly continued to use the space illegally.

In June 2016, Khalid and his cousin Muhammad Muhamra opened fire inside the upscale Max Brenner restaurant in Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market shopping area, killing four people and wounding 41 others.

They were captured alive immediately after the attack, and in September this year were convicted on four counts of murder, 41 counts of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit a crime by the Tel Aviv District Court. Their accomplice, Younis Ayash Musa Zayn, was convicted of conspiracy.

The Shin Bet security agency said the cousins were “inspired” by the Islamic State terror group.

Khalid Muhamra, left, Younis Ayash Musa Zayn, center, and Muhammad Muhamra, right, sit behind a glass window during their indictment in a Tel Aviv District Court on July 4, 2016. (Flash90)

Israeli officials say home demolitions are a key deterrent to keep Palestinians from carrying out attacks, though human rights groups and some Israeli security officials argue that it is a form of collective punishment, or that it is not an effective deterrent.

On Wednesday, IDF soldiers and border police entered the Palestinian village of Bayt Surik and blew up the home of the terrorist who shot dead three Israelis in the nearby settlement of Har Adar in September.

The military did not tear down the entire building, instead destroying only Jamal’s apartment.

On the morning of Tuesday, September 26, the 37-year-old Jamal approached the rear entrance of Har Adar, a settlement that lies just beyond the Green Line in the hills northwest of Jerusalem, 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.

Jamal killed one Border Police officer and two private security guards before he was shot dead by other forces at the scene.

Ido Ben Ari, one of four victims killed in a terror attack in Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market on June 6, 2016. (Courtesy)

The following day, the IDF took measurements of Jamal’s home, which is the first step taken ahead of a demolition, and a week later they presented his family members with a demolition order.

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.

Michael Feige, professor of Israel studies at Ben Gurion University, one of four victims killed in a terror attack in Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market on June 6, 2016. (Dani Machlis)

Israel made frequent use of home demolitions until 2005, when the government decided to stop employing the controversial measure.

However, in 2014, it was brought back into use.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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