The B’Tselem rights group accused the army of causing damage to two homes of adjacent families, including seven children, while it carried out recent home demolitions of Palestinian terrorists.
On Tuesday, the IDF blew up two housing units in eastern Jerusalem and sealed off another “as collective punishment for attacks perpetrated by relatives of the people living in the three homes,” B’Tselem – The Israel Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories alleged on Thursday.
The demolitions targeted the homes of Ghassan Abu al-Jamal, who, together with a partner, perpetrated an attack on a synagogue in November 2014 in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood, killing four worshipers and a Druse policeman and wounding seven others; and Muhammad Naif el-Ja’abis, who ran over civilians with a bulldozer in the capital in August 2014, murdering Rabbi Avrohom Wallis and injuring seven additional civilians.
Despite Israel’s pledge to the High Court of Justice to do “everything in its power to prevent damage to adjacent units,” which was given in responser to a petition by Hamoked: Center for the Defense of the Individual and Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, the blast in one case on Tuesday destroyed an adjacent apartment on the same floor, where Ghassan’s brother Muawiya lived with his wife and three children.
In the other home demolition, though the explosion was on the top floor, the blast “caused extensive damage to the bottom floor of the house, where Ja’abis’s brother Shaker lives with his wife and four children,” leading the Jerusalem Municipality effectively to declare it uninhabitable, according to B’Tselem.
The force also caused damage to other units in nearby houses, where more of his siblings live.
B’Tselem said that 11 people, including seven children, lost their home in these two actions. Most of them did not live in the units that were slated for demolition.
The IDF did not deny the allegations, but responded stating it “does everything in its ability in order to reduce the damage from the demolition point on the surrounding structures and property. Every action of this kind involves a preliminary tour [of the site], a review of the impact and the involvement of an engineer.”
It said the matter was being examined.
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