Israeli authorities will demolish the home of Khayri Alqam, a Palestinian man suspected of carrying out an attack against Israelis in January.
The attack was carried out on January 27, a day after the regime's forces raided the city of Jenin and its neighboring refugee camp in the north of the occupied West Bank, gunning down nine Palestinians. The alleged 21-year-old assailant was shot dead and his family later received a demolition order for their apartment.
According to an AFP report on Sunday, the demolition threat is now hanging over under a long-standing policy to punish the families of Palestinians who stage stabbing attacks against Israeli troops.
Entrances to the home in east al-Quds of Fatima Alqam, her husband Moussa and four children were sealed after the shooting by their son in the settlement of Neve Yaacov. The four-storey building was like a "military checkpoint," according to Moussa Alqam, with Israeli forces stationed at the property for more than two weeks. "We hope that it won't be torn down. A lawyer has been appointed and we are waiting" for the appeals process, said one of Khayri's relatives.
Khayri 's grandfather was also killed in 1998 by an Israeli individual, who was arrested in 2010 for the deadly incident and a series of other murders of Palestinians. The murderer was later released and ultimately no one was convicted. "Who do we complain to?" asked the relative. "He must be punished. We were wronged in 1998 and wronged today." The accused won the vocal support of now far-right Israeli minister Itamar Ben-Gvir.
While successive Israeli cabinets have implemented the demolition policy, there has usually been a period after such an order is issued to allow residents to appeal. That has changed under right-wing administration of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu's office recently announced plans to "seal and demolish the home" of a 31-year-old Palestinian who killed three Israelis in east al-Quds before being shot dead. When authorities discovered that Hussein Qaraqe was renting an apartment not owned by a relative, they went in search of an alternative home to raze.
Human rights groups say Israeli authorities’ action to seal the family homes of Palestinian suspects amounts to collective punishment.
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