Israel demolishes home of Palestinian who killed Yotam Ovadia

On July 26th, a 17 year-old attacked two residents outside a playground, wounding a 58 year-old man and fatally stabbed 31 year-old Yotam Ovadia before he was shot dead.

Israel demolishes home of Palestinian who killed Yotam Ovadia, August 28, 2018 (IDF Spokesperson)
Security forces demolished the house of the Palestinian terrorist who killed an Israeli man in a July 26 stabbing attack in the West Bank settlement of Adam, the IDF said on Monday.
IDF troops, along with Border Police and Civil Administration officers, entered the village of Kobar near Ramallah early Monday morning, and razed the bottom floor of an apartment building belonging to the family of Muhammad Tareq Yousef.
A month earlier, Yousef, 17, attacked two residents of Adam, wounding a 58 year-old man and fatally stabbing Yotam Ovadia, 31, before being shot dead by Adam resident Assaf Raviv, who was lightly injured in the attack.
Following the attack, troops measured and mapped Yousef’s home for demolition.
The family was notified of the demolition order two weeks ago.
Kobar mayor Ezzat Badwan urged the IDF not to demolish the family home, saying at the time that the family was not involved.
“His parents and siblings had nothing to do with what he did. They do not deserve to pay the price for the actions of one of their family members,” he said. “I believe that these operations are neither correct nor humane. I will never support killing civilians. It is unacceptable and against international, religious and human customs.”
While Israeli officials acknowledge home demolitions are a controversial tactic, they say the policy is a key deterrent to stop other potential attackers.
Palestinians and human rights groups criticize home demolitions as collective punishment.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman took to his Twitter account Tuesday writing that the “circle has been closed.”
“During the Shiva [period of mourning] for Yotam Ovadia in the community of Adam, I told his widow and parents that we would soon demolish the terrorist’s home,” Liberman wrote. “Tonight that circle has been closed.”
“We will continue fighting terror with an iron fist; we will continue building in Adam and in any other place where our citizens are being targeted,” he promised.
During the demolition early Tuesday morning, dozens of Palestinians clashed with troops, throwing stones, Molotov cocktails, pipe bombs and firecrackers, and burning tires.
According to an IDF statement, troops responded by using riot control methods; none of them were injured.
Separately, IDF troops in Nablus fired at a Palestinian vehicle that sped toward them while they were preparing for the midnight entry of 750 Jewish worshipers to Joseph’s Tomb.
The troops, along with Border Police, Israeli police and the civil administration officers, were escorting the worshipers, who were traveling to the tomb in bulletproof buses along roads that were temporarily closed to Palestinian traffic.
Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan and Construction and Housing Minister Yoav Gallant were among those who visited the tomb.
Gallant symbolically placed the palm of his hand on the ancient tomb. This is a profound experience, which “connects the present with experiences that shaped the Jewish people in the past,” he said.
“It is an unprecedented phenomenon that a state and a nation can be resurrected after a prolonged exile and can return to grasp hold of the land of its forefathers,” Gallant added.
During the prayers, Palestinians threw a Molotov cocktail at a force that had secured the worshipers’ entry into the tomb. According to the IDF, there were no casualties and no damage was done.
The Palestinian news agency WAFA reported that three teens were treated at Raffia Hospital for injuries sustained in clashes with IDF troops, and that others suffered from tear gas inhalation.
According to Palestinian reports, at least five men were injured by IDF fire.
Images shared on social media showed blood on the floor of a Palestinian ambulance.
Elsewhere in the West Bank, IDF troops on Tuesday arrested eight suspects wanted for their involvement in terrorist activities and violent disturbances against civilians and soldiers. Soldiers who raided the village of as-Samu near Hebron found a pistol, bullets and a magazine.
Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.