Israel to demolish family home of dead Hamas operative
The house of Fadi Abu Shikheidem, a Hamas member killed in late November after killing one Israeli and wounding three more in Jerusalem, will be demolished, the Israeli defense ministry decided on Sunday.
The house is home to six people, including Abu Shikheidem's wife and five children.
The family’s attorney, Madhat Dibeh, told The New Arab that "the decision is officially a military one and can be appealed, but by experience we know that the appeal will be rejected".
Home demolitions are the usual procedure against the families of Palestinians accused of deadly attacks against Israelis.
"The procedure is always the same," said Dibeh, "the ministry gives the order, then the family appeals, and within one to two months the house is demolished."
Dibeh affirmed that “Abu Shikheidem’s family is devastated. They have nowhere else to go and they know that their days in their life-long home are counted".
In 2019 alone, 10 Palestinian houses were punitively demolished, displacing 22 individuals. Since the start of 2020, 15 Palestinians have been displaced as a result of 4 punitive house demolitions. One of the families underwent two punitive demolitions. #StopCollectivePunishment! pic.twitter.com/GDmFwZ4zGf— Al-Haq الحق (@alhaq_org) July 20, 2020
In late November, Fadi Abu Shikheidem, a school teacher in his mid-forties, opened fire on a group of Israelis, killing one and wounding three more, before being killed by Israeli police. Hamas declared that Abu Shikheidem was one of its members.
Punitive house demolitions against Palestinians saw a significant rise after 2015, according to Nada Awad, researcher at the Cairo Institute for Human Rights.
A new atrocity by Israeli authorities today.— Ben White (@benabyad) March 5, 2020
Occupation forces carried out two punitive house demolitions in the West Bank, targeting family homes of Palestinian prisoners *who are still awaiting trial*.https://t.co/EhCfYQRZv1https://t.co/BvZRy85awJhttps://t.co/eWQ5inbfos pic.twitter.com/REENg8MIq8
Awad described the policy to The New Arab as "a collective punishment tool designed for collective domination and deterrence".
"For decades, Israel has used house demolitions to punish the families and the communities of those who take violent action against it, into submission. The fact that it continues to use this method proves that it has failed," Awad said.
According to Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq, Israel demolished six houses on punitive grounds in 2020.