IDF Demolishes Two Terrorists Homes, Seals Third
JERUSALEM, Israel -- It's no longer business as usual for Israel, at least when it comes to the latest upswing in terror attacks in Jerusalem and elsewhere.
Overnight Monday, Israeli security forces demolished the family homes of two terrorists responsible for the deaths of five Israelis a year ago and sealed the home of a third whose victim, shot at point blank range, eventually recovered.
Two of the terrorists were shot dead at the scene of the attacks and the third died in a firefight with Israeli forces in Abu Tor, a mixed Arab-Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem.
On October 4, 2014, Muhammed Naif El-Ja'abis turned his bulldozer into a weapon, running down pedestrians before ramming a city bus, killing a rabbi and injuring seven others.
Following the attack, the Ja'abis family petitioned the High Court of Justice against demolition of their home, calling it a traffic accident rather than a vehicular terror attack.
On November 18, 2014, Abu Jamil Jasan Ben Muhammad and Abu Jamal Uday Ben Abed slashed and bludgeoned four Jewish men to death with axes and knives praying in a synagogue in Jerusalem's Har Nof neighborhood and then gunned down Israel Police officer Zidan Sayaf who responded to the attack.
IDF Engineering Corps forces also sealed the family home of Muatez Ibrahim Halil Hijazi, the Arab terrorist who shot Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick at point blank range as he left Jerusalem's Begin-Sadat Center following a speaking engagement last November. Glick recovered from his injuries after a long hospital stay.
Israel has used home demolitions to counter terror attacks in the past, but complaints by the U.S. State Department and rulings by the High Court has, from time to time, postponed them.
On Monday evening, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened the Security Cabinet to discuss shortening the legal process for carrying out demolitions, a tactic used during the second intifada (2000 through 2004).
"We are acting with a strong hand against terrorism and against inciters," Netanyahu said following the meeting. "We are in a difficult struggle, but one thing should be clear -- we will win. Just as we defeated previous waves of terrorism, we will defeat this one as well."