Muhanna's family house destroyed.

IOF demolishes Muhannad al-Halabi’s family home

PNN/Ramallah

The Israeli occupation forces troops took part in demolishing the home of Muhannad Halabi in the occupied West Bank village of Surda, near Ramallah at dawn Saturday.

The IOF stormed into the town of Surda, and turned it into a military zone. Furthermore, they forced the family to evacuate the house and started the demolition.

Israeli occupation troops also closed the main roads leading to the village, prevented the passage of cars through the main street and also prevented ambulances from passing.

Shortly after the demolition, clashes broke out between youths and the IOF, where some Palestinians were injured with rubber coasted bullets fired by Israeli soldiers.

Muhannad al-Halabi, a 19-year-old law student, was shot dead by the IOF on October 3 after he stabbed Rabbi Nehemiah Lavi and Aharon Banita, and injured Bennett’s wife and their two-year-old son in the occupied Old City of Jerusalem.

After that, all his family moved to Ramallah, for fear of facing a house demolition.

Muhanna's family.
Muhanna’s family.

Muhannad’s family even tried to avoid a house demolition by filling an appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court of Justice. It received the appeal, however confirmed the already made decision of the Israeli authorities to demolish the family house.

The municipality of Surda-Abu Qash announced that it would name a street for Muhannad Halabi, Palestinian Media Watch reported in October, citing an article by Donia Al-Watan.

Earlier this week, IOF troops entered the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem on Monday morning in order to destroy the family homes of two Palestinians who carried out knife operations against Israelis in November, the IOF said.

The practice of demolishing the family homes of Palestinians who were killed by the IOF once they claimed those Palestinians carried out some kind of attack against them, has been criticized by nongovernmental and human rights groups once they claim that this actions are a form of collective punishment.

However, Israeli officials have defended its use as a deterrent against future attacks.

According to the Israeli Human Rights Groups B’Tselem concerning the house demolitions:

“The justices of the [Israeli] Supreme Court repeatedly allow the [Israeli] state to use this drastic measure, which constitutes collective punishment and is prohibited under international law. They do so despite the severity of the measure and the clear position of legal scholars both in Israel and abroad that it is unlawful. The justices continue to take at face value the state’s pledges that every effort will be made to avoid the destruction of other homes, even though more than half of the apartments demolished over the past two months had not been the subject of orders. The [Israeli] court itself ruled that judicial review is required whenever house demolitions are used as a punitive measure. However, since the ruling was made, the court has approved almost every single case brought before it. This cannot pass for judicial review, nor is it what judicial review is meant for. The court is expected to prevent the state from acting unlawfully, but when it comes to punitive house demolitions, with or without an order, it fails to fulfill its role”.

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions reports that in 2015 alone 450 Palestinian houses were demolished, and since 1967, almost 50.000.