Attackers' homes demolished at Netanyahu's urging

00:30 Oct 6 2015 Jabal al Mukabber

Attackers' homes demolished at Netanyahu's urging
Photo: Israeli forces stormed the homes of Muhammad Jaabis and Ghassan Abu Jamal and demolished them with explosives. (MaanImages)

by IMEMC News & Agencies

Israeli forces, on Tuesday, demolished two homes belonging to the families of Palestinians who carried out attacks on Israelis last year, just hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for a new process to expedite home demolitions.

Locals in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukabbir told Ma'an News Agency that, early on Tuesday morning, Israeli forces stormed the homes of Muhammad Jaabis and Ghassan Abu Jamal and demolished them with explosives.

Ghassan Abu Jamal was shot dead along with his cousin, Uday, after they killed four Israelis in a high-profile attack on a synagogue, in November of last year.

Separately, Jaabis was shot dead when he ran an excavator into an Israeli bus, killing one and injuring several others.

Locals said that neighboring homes sustained damage during Tuesday's demolitions. Meanwhile, in a third house, also in East Jerusalem, Israelis forces filled a room with concrete. Israeli forces stormed and ransacked the home of Mutaz Hijazi's family in Silwan neighborhood, before filling Hijazi's former room with concrete.

Hijazi was shot dead on the roof of the house on Oct. 30, 2014, after he was accused of the attempted assassination of right-wing rabbi activist Yehuda Glick.

Israeli forces reportedly detained all family members and moved them away from the home.

'No restrictions' for Israeli forces

The demolitions followed a marathon 6-hour meeting of Israel's security cabinet on Monday night, during which Netanyahu reportedly called on Israel's Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked to find ways to speed up the legal process for the demolition of "terrorists' homes."

Education Minister Naftali Bennett used the same meeting to call for a policy of new settlement construction following every Palestinian attack.

Ahead of the meeting, Netanyahu had pledged new measures including swifter demolition of homes belonging to Palestinians accused of attacks on Israelis and broader use of administrative detention.

In a statement released by his office on Monday, the Israeli prime minister said that extra troops had been deployed across the occupied Palestinian territory who were "going deeply into the Arab neighborhoods, which has not been done in the past."

He pledged to "demolish terrorists' homes," and said that his government was "allowing our forces to take strong action against those who throw rocks and firebombs."

By Monday evening, two Palestinians had been killed in clashes, including a 13-year-old boy. Around 500 more had been injured, including 41 with live rounds, the Palestinian Red Crescent said.

"We are not prepared to give immunity to any rioter, inciter or terrorist anywhere," Netanyahu said, adding that there were "no restrictions on the action of our security forces."

The Israeli army confirmed Tuesday's demolitions, saying they were carried out on the directive of Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Ya'alon.

by Palestinian Centre for Human Rights - PCHR

wo Houses Destroyed in Jabal al-Mukaber Village and Room Closed with Concrete in al-Thawri Neighborhood in Occupied Jerusalem.

As part of the collective punishment policy practiced by Israeli forces against families of Palestinians accused of carrying out attacks against Israeli forces and/or settlers, on Tuesday morning, 06 October 2015, Israeli forces destroyed two houses in Jabal al-Mokabber village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, and rendered their inhabitants outdoor.

They also closed a room in a house belonging to a third family in ath-Thoury neighborhood in Silwan village, south of the Old City.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns this crime that is added to the series of crimes committed by Israeli forces in occupied East Jerusalem in particular and in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) in general.

PCHR stresses that this crime is part of the collective punishment policy adopted by Israeli forces against innocent Palestinians in violation of article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention that prohibits collective punishment and retaliatory measures against protected persons and their property.

According to investigation conducted by PCHR, at approximately 00:30 on Tuesday, 06 October 2015, Israeli forces, including special units and intelligence officers, accompanied by explosive experts moved into Jabal al-Mokabber village, southeast of occupied Jerusalem, while a helicopter was hovering overhead.

They raided two houses belonging to the families of Mohammed Ja'abis and Ghassan Abu Jamal.

They obliged their occupants and over 23 neighboring families to leave their houses while firing sound bombs and tear gas canisters to frighten them and prevent them from approaching the area.

Israeli forces then planted explosives inside the two houses and remotely blew them up.

As a result, the two houses were completely destroyed while other houses sustained serious damage. It should be noted that the 110-square-meter house of Ghassan Abu Jamal used to shelter his wife, Nadia, and their 3 children, while the house of al-Ja'abees is located on the second floor in a 2-story building.

In the same context, Israeli forces raided in the early morning a house belonging to Mo'taz Ibrahim Khalil Hejazi in ath-Thouri neighborhood in the south of East Jerusalem. They surrounded the house, closed its windows with iron plates and then poured concrete in his room.

- Mohammed Nayef Ja'abis (21), from Jabal al-Mokabber village, was killed on 04 August 2014, when Israeli forces fired over 21 bullets at him from a close range after the bulldozer he was driving hit a bus on Street no. 1 opposite to Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. Ja'abis was in his work, yet Israeli forces claim that he carried out an attack against the bus.

- Former prisoner Mo'taz Ibrahim Khalil Hejazi (32) was killed on 30 October 2014, when Israeli special forces opened fire at him while being surrounded on the roof of his family's house in ath-Thouri neighborhood in Silwan village, under the pretext that he opened fire at Rabbi Yehuda Glick, west of Jerusalem.

- Ghassan Mohammed Abu al-Jamal (32) was killed along with Odai Abed Abu al-Jamal after carrying out an attack on a synagogue in "Har Nov" area in Deir Yassin village in occupied Jerusalem. Israeli forces closed Odai's house with concrete in July.

PCHR reiterates its condemnation of the destruction of the two houses and closure of a room, which are part of the collective punishment policy adopted by Israeli forces against the Palestinian civilians.

PCHR reminds that article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention provides, "No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited".

Therefore, PCHR calls upon the international community to take immediate and effective action to put an end to such crimes and reiterates its call for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e., to respect and to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances, and their obligation under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

These grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions.
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