Israeli Authorities Warn Palestinian Terrorists’ Families of Home Demolitions
Israel has told the families of several Palestinians involved in attacks against Israelis to evacuate their homes ahead of planned demolitions, Israel’s NRG News reported Monday.
Family members have 48 hours to appeal the order, otherwise the demolition of their homes will be carried out immediately, subject to a final decision by the political echelon, according to the Associated Press.
The new measures indicate that Israel has ratcheted up punitive steps adopted against terrorists who have attacked its citizens. However, the new protocol applies only to terrorists involved in deadly attacks against civilians, including car ramming attacks, and not those caught throwing firebombs or stones, according to the report.
The army said that in recent weeks it had issued several orders to this effect to family members of terrorists in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).
Police announced that similar proceedings had been opened against a number of Arab families in Jerusalem, but announced that the demolitions themselves depended on a decision by the government.
Last week, a senior military official at the Central Command said that that the army is prepared to carry out the demolitions.
“We have received instructions on the issue; received specific sites, and are at the planning stage of the preparations,” the official said, adding that they are ready to fulfill the demolition order, and only await the go-ahead from above.
“I know the engineering capabilities needed to be imposed at any given point … we did it it to the terrorists who abducted the [three high school students in June], we did it in Idna to the home of murderer of [Israel Police officer] Baruch Mizrahi – and we’ll do it anywhere we need to,” the official said.
In 2005, a military commission established and headed by Gen. (ret.) Udi Shani concluded that the destruction of houses of suicide bombers in most cases was not an effective deterrent, and that the damage exceeded the benefit due to causing more hatred towards Israel, and bred a desire to continue terrorist activity.
The committee’s recommendation was made after three years in which IDF forces demolished dozens of houses of terrorists.
However, the defense establishment now believe that such a move could cause the Palestinians to think again before opting to carry out attacks.
On Nov. 6th, Former Israeli National Security Council chief, Maj.-Gen. (res) Ya’akov Amidror, argued that the only action that can deter “car-bourne” terrorists is taking punitive measures against their families.
“By punishing the terrorists’ families, some will be deterred. The terrorist who knows with certainty that his family will suffer will think twice before committing the deed,” Amidror said.
Five people were killed – one an infant – and some 30 civilians and soldiers have been wounded in attacks over the past two weeks by Palestinian Hamas and Islamic Jihad-affiliated terrorists, who mowed down pedestrians along the tracks and platforms of Jerusalem’s light rail system, and killed civilians in stabbing attacks in the capital, near Jerusalem, and in Tel Aviv.