Soldiers attacked during op to demolish terrorist’s home
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Soldiers attacked during op to demolish terrorist’s home

Two servicemen, two Palestinians injured as clashes erupt during demolition of Qalandiya home of Shlomit Krigman’s killer

Raoul Wootliff is the The Times of Israel's political correspondent.

Illustrative photo of Israeli border police and soldiers clashing with Palestinians shooting fireworks at the Qalandiya checkpoint on July 24, 2014. (Issam Rimawi/FLASH90)
Illustrative photo of Israeli border police and soldiers clashing with Palestinians shooting fireworks at the Qalandiya checkpoint on July 24, 2014. (Issam Rimawi/FLASH90)

Israeli forces clashed with Palestinians youth overnight Tuesday during an operation to demolish the home of a terrorist in the West Bank town of Qalandiya.

Two soldiers were lightly injured when rocks were thrown at troops during the demolition of a house belonging to the family of Hussein Abu Ghosh, 17, who killed Shlomit Krigman in a stabbing attack in the West Bank settlement of Beit Horon in January, the army said.

It said it was attacked rocks, Molotov cocktails and an improvised explosive device thrown at soldiers who responded first by firing tear gas and then live bullets at the protesters.

Two Palestinians were shot during the clashes, according to the Palestinian Ma’an news agency. The army confirmed the reports.

Abu Ghosh and Ibrahim Al’an, 23, from the West Bank Palestinian village of Beit Ur al-Tahta, entered the Beit Horon settlement near Jerusalem on January 25 and stabbed shoppers in a local grocery store. Both were shot dead by a security guard at the scene.

Krigman, 23, was seriously injured and died a day later. Another woman was moderately wounded.

Shlomit Krigman, 23, in an undated Facebook photo. (Facebook)
Shlomit Krigman, 23, in an undated Facebook photo. (Facebook)

Abu Ghosh’s parents had appealed against the demolition of their home, where they live with their six children, arguing that their son was a minor when he carried out the attack.

But the High Court of Justice rejected the petition last week, citing early Shin Bet warnings to the family as proof that they had been given ample opportunity to prevent the attack.

The security service warned the family that their son was edging into extremist behavior, but the teenager nevertheless went on to carry out the attack that killed Krigman.

In their ruling the judges noted that in the months before the attack, the Shin Bet identified Abu Ghosh as expressing extremist views and suspected that he was planning to carry out a terror attack. Last August he was called in with his father for a talk with a Shin Bet coordinator to warn them that the teen should change his ways, the Walla report said. The coordinator also made it clear to the father that his son had been banned from entering Israel because of his behavior. They were then released.

Two months later the coordinator called the father and after warning him that his son was continuing in his “bad ways,” made clear to him that next time there wouldn’t be just a phone call but a house visit. Three months later the son carried out the attack along with Al’an.

The judges ruled there was no cause to reject the demolition order, which has already been signed by IDF Central Region Commander Maj.-Gen Roni Numa.

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.

Palestinians inspect the damage in the home of Baha Allian, which was demolished by Israeli security forces in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukabar, as part of Israel's punishment for a terror attack, on January 4, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Palestinians inspect the damage in the home of Baha Allian, which was demolished by Israeli security forces in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukabar, as part of Israel’s punishment for a terror attack, on January 4, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

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

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.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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