Security forces demolished the home of the Palestinian terrorist who killed three Israelis in a shooting attack in the West Bank settlement of Har Adar, the IDF said on Wednesday.
Troops from the IDF, Border Police and Civil Administration entered the West Bank village of Beit Surik near Jerusalem overnight Tuesday and used a controlled explosion to destroy the apartment of Nimer Jamal. Troops also used heavy engineering equipment during the demolition.
Jamal killed two civilian security guards – Youssef Othman, 24, of Abu Ghosh, and Or Arish, 25, of Har Adar – and 20-year-old Solomon Gavriya of Be’er Ya’acov in a shooting attack outside the settlement of Har Adar, near Abu Ghosh, 15 km. west of Jerusalem, in September.
Military security coordinator Amit Steinhart was left seriously wounded.
Following the attack, the IDF took measurements of Jamal’s home and presented family members with a demolition order a week later.
Police said Jamal, who was well known and trusted in Har Adar, where he worked privately for a number of families, possessed a legal work permit, making him one of the few Palestinians with the coveted document to carry out a deadly terrorist attack in recent years.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad praised the attack at Har Adar.
“The operation this morning in northern Jerusalem is a new chapter of the Jerusalem intifada and... an affirmation that our uprising youth will continue to fight until the people and land are completely liberated,” said Hamas spokesman Hazim Qassim following the attack.
Islamic Jihad said the attack “embodies the living conscience of the Palestinian people and cause.”
“The blessed [operation] is a slap in the face of normalizers and conspirators, and it says to all the people of the land that it is not possible to neglect one iota of Jerusalem’s soil or accept Zionists who are assailing [it],” Islamic Jihad spokesman Daoud Shahab said in a statement.
While the father of four had no prior security offenses, according to the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), Jamal had a history of domestic violence and had been suffering from significant personal and family problems. His wife had recently fled to Jordan, leaving him with their four children.
Since October 2015, Palestinian youth have stabbed, run over and shot Israeli soldiers and civilians, including some tourists, in a wave of violence in the West Bank and Israel which has taken the lives of at least 295 Palestinians and Arab Israelis, 50 Israelis, two Americans, two Jordanians, an Eritrean, a Sudanese and a Briton, according to an AFP toll.
Israeli officials say home demolitions, a controversial tactic, are a key deterrent to other potential attackers, but Palestinians and human rights groups criticize the army for using collective punishment by demolishing the homes of the terrorists’ families.
According to an August report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 2016 saw the highest number of Palestinian-owned buildings being demolished by Israel since it began recording the trend in 2009, with a total of 1,094 destroyed. While some structures were demolished or seized due to lack of building permits, 684 buildings in the West Bank and Jerusalem were demolished for punitive reasons in 2016, compared to 531 in 2015.
According to the UN, apartments adjacent to those being destroyed by Israel have also been destroyed or severely damaged in several cases.Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.