Israeli security forces demolish four families’ homes, punishing 28 people, including 6 minors, for actions of persons no longer alive

Published: 
5 Apr 2016

Early on the morning of Monday, 4 April 2016, military, Border Police and Civil Administration forces arrived at the village of Qabatiyah, Jenin District, and demolished three apartments belonging to the families of Ahmad Nassar, Muhammad Kmeil and Ahmad Abu a-Rob. The demolitions were a punitive measure for a gunfire attack the three perpetrated on 3 February 2016 at Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem, killing Border Police officer Hadar Cohen. The three were shot dead by security forces present on the scene. On 24 March 2016, the High Court of Justice (HCJ) dismissed the petitions filed by the families and HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual, upholding the demolition of the apartments.

Ruins of Nassar family’s home, Qabatiyah. Photo by Abdulkarim Sadi, B’Tselem, 4 April 2016
Ruins of Nassar family’s home, Qabatiyah. Photo by Abdulkarim Sadi, B’Tselem, 4 April 2016

The forces manually tore down the walls of the apartment belonging to Ahmad Nassar’s family, which is located in a two-story building and used bulldozers to demolish the apartments belonging to the families of Muhammad Kmeil and Ahmad Abu a-Rob. The demolition of the three apartments left 22 people homeless, including four minors.

A few days earlier, on Thursday 31 March 2016, military troops came to Hebron to demolish the home of Ihab Miswadi’s family. Miswadi had been shot dead by security forces on 7 December 2015 in the Tomb of the Patriarchs, after he stabbed and fatally wounded Gennady Kaufman. Kaufman succumbed to his wounds three weeks later. On 23 March 2016, the HCJ dismissed the petition filed by Miswadi’s family and HaMoked, upholding the demolition order. The military manually demolished the walls of the apartment, which was home to six people, including two minors.

Since October 2015, Israel has stepped up house demolitions as a means of punishing relatives of individuals who perpetrated attacks or were suspected of perpetrating or aiding such attacks. These latest demolitions bring the total number of demolitions and full or partial sealing of homes to 36 since October 2015. As a result of the large scale sealing and demolition operations, 147 people have lost their homes, including 65 minors.

Ruins of Abu a-Rob family’s home, Qabatiyah. Photo by Abdulkarim Sadi, B’Tselem, 4 April 2016
Ruins of Abu a-Rob family’s home, Qabatiyah. Photo by Abdulkarim Sadi, B’Tselem, 4 April 2016.