Families Appeal to PM to Demolish Terrorists’ Houses

YERUSHALAYIM -
Family and friends attend the funeral of Israeli soldier Ronen Lubarsky, Hy”d, on May 27. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Four months after he killed IDF soldier Ronen Lubarsky, Hy”d, the home of Islam Yussuf abu-Hamid has not yet been demolished – and a report on Channel 20 said that despite numerous attempts, the IDF has not yet succeeded in mapping its precise location, the first step in demolition. IDF forces, for the third time, early Wednesday entered the village of El-Amri, near Ramallah, where the house is located – and for the third time faced fierce rioting that prevented them from carrying out the mapping procedure.

Terrorists threw rocks and firebombs at soldiers, who responded with anti-riot measures. Several of the rioters were injured, but no soldiers were injured, the IDF said. Unlike the practice in recent demolitions, in which just one story of a house in which a terrorist lived is destroyed, the IDF informed the family of abu-Hamid that all four stories of their house would be demolished. The new demolition order expands on a previous one, that marked two of the building’s floors for demolition.

The reason for the expanded order was because the house was illegally constructed. The site of the home of the terrorist is located at the location of another house that had previously been demolished by the IDF. That house was razed in 1990, as punishment for the terror activity of one of the brothers of Lubarsky’s killer. The IDF forbade the family from rebuilding the house, but that order was ignored.

Lubarsky was killed last May after he was severely injured in an IDF action in Ramallah. He was hit in the head by a block of marble by Arab terrorists as soldiers were attempting to make arrests of terrorists in the refugee camp outside Ramallah. Abu-Hamid admitted under interrogation that it was he who threw a block of marble on the head of Lubarsky as he and other soldiers of the Duvdevan unit were carrying out arrests in the camp. It also emerged that his brothers and several older members of his family are members of Hamas, and that he has aided them in various acts of terror, including the 1994 murder of Shin Bet agent Noam Cohen, Hy”d. Lubarsky, 20, was a soldier in the elite Duvdevan unit, which regularly enters Palestinian Authority-controlled areas to arrest terrorists; in 2017, the unit arrested over 300 terrorists.

In an emotional letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, several families whose loved ones were killed by terrorists demanded that the government immediately demolish homes of terrorists who murdered Israelis. “We do not want to see additional Israeli deaths,” the letter reads. “The only way to this is to place fear in the hearts of potential terrorists,” with steps such as demolishing their homes and making their families homeless.

The letter was signed by members of five families who have lost loved ones to terrorists in recent months, including the family of Lubarsky, as well as the families of Adiel Kolman, Hy”d, Avraham Hasno, Hy”d, Tuvia Yanai, Hy”d, and Ari Fuld, Hy”d.

In the letter, each family describes the murder of their loved one, and the difficulties they themselves faced as a result. “One thing is clear,” the letter said. “The demolition of houses of the families of terrorists immediately after an attack has an effect of discouraging future attacks, sending a message that there is a heavy price to be paid for murdering Jews. That it is not worth it for them to become ‘martyrs’ or even to go to jail.

“Unfortunately, the IDF and the security establishment refuses to demolish terrorists’ homes,” the letter said. “The continued existence of these terrorists’ homes is practically a guarantee that there will be another attack. You do not beat terror in the High Court – you beat it with an iron fist. Use the fist; our loved ones will not return, but we can help prevent suffering of other families in the future,” it added.