IDF demolishes home of Palestinian terrorist – again

Islam Abu Hamid was convicted of killing St.-Sgt. Ronen Lubarsky during a raid in the West Bank last year. The family was ordered not to rebuild the structure after the initial demolition.

IDF soldiers at the demolition of terrorist Islam Yousef Abu Hamid's house, al-Am’ari refugee camp, October 24 2019 (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
IDF soldiers at the demolition of terrorist Islam Yousef Abu Hamid's house, al-Am’ari refugee camp, October 24 2019
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
Israel’s military demolished the family home of a Palestinian man convicted of murdering St.-Sgt. Ronen Lubarsky during a raid in the West Bank last year, after the attacker’s family rebuilt the home, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit announced.
During the demolition of the four-story building, under construction by the family of 32-year-old Islam Yousef Abu Hamid in the al-Am’ari refugee camp close to Ramallah, a number of violent riots broke out between Palestinians and IDF troops, who responded by using riot dispersal methods.
Several Palestinian youths were injured, and several Hamas members were arrested by Israeli security forces.
Demolition of Yousef Abu Hamid's home, al-Am’ari refugee camp, October 24 2019Demolition of Yousef Abu Hamid's home, al-Am’ari refugee camp, October 24 2019
Israeli officials say that the controversial tactic of home demolitions is a key deterrent to stop 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 the Shin Bet (Israel Security Service), Hamid served time in an Israeli prison for terrorist activities committed for Hamas. He was arrested and indicted for the May 2018 murder of 20-year-old St.-Sgt. Lubarsky, who was a combat soldier in the elite Duvdevan commando unit, from the central Israeli city of Rehovot.
Lubarsky, who was taking part in an operation aimed at arresting a terrorist cell involved in recent shooting attacks, was part of the operation’s covering force when he was hit by a 40-pound slab of marble thrown by Hamid from a rooftop.
He received initial emergency medical attention in the field and was transferred to intensive care at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Karem, where he succumbed to his wounds.
Hamid was sentenced to life in prison plus eight months and ordered to pay the victim’s family NIS 258,000 for Lubarsky’s murder by a military court in July.
The family called the sentence an embarrassment.
At the time of the demolition last year, the IDF had initially informed the Hamid family that Israel intended to demolish two floors of the building, but in September it was decided that the entire structure would be destroyed.
IDF soldiers at the demolition of Yousef Abu Hamid's home al-Am’ari refugee camp, October 24 2019IDF soldiers at the demolition of Yousef Abu Hamid's home al-Am’ari refugee camp, October 24 2019
The IDF said that the home had been built on a plot where a building was previously demolished in the 1990’s following an attack by Hamid’s brother, which killed Shin Bet operative Noam Cohen.
Cohen was killed during a security operation in Ramallah on February 13, 1994, when three Hamas operatives opened fire with automatic weapons on the car he was traveling in at the Bitounia junction. Although the car was hit by 62 bullets, Cohen stepped outside of the vehicle to return fire, and was shot and critically wounded. He later died.
Following the initial demolition, the family was ordered not to rebuild the structure.
According to the Palestinian Wafa News Agency, it was the fourth time that the IDF demolished the home: first in 1994, the second time in 2004, then the demolition last December and finally again on Thursday morning.
The mother of Hamid, Latifa Abu Hamid, was quoted by Wafa as saying that the family would rebuild the home just as they’ve done every time the home was demolished by Israeli troops “as punishment for her son’s activities in the resistance.”
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said that the military will “continue to monitor the homes of terrorists that have been destroyed on an ongoing basis, and will continue to act against terrorism in Judea and Samaria for the sake of safeguarding security in the area.”