Israeli forces on Wednesday demolished the home of a Palestinian gunman who allegedly killed a female Israeli soldier in an attack last year that sparked a manhunt and clampdown on the east Jerusalem neighborhood where he lived.
The home demolition came in the first weeks of Israel’s new far-right government, which has pushed a hard line against the Palestinians and promised to ramp up settlement building in the occupied West Bank.
Police said some 300 officers and troops entered the Shuafat refugee camp to demolish the home of Uday Tamimi, who Israel said was behind the deadly shooting at a checkpoint in October.
After the shooting attack that killed the 19-year-old soldier, the attacker fled, sparking a weeklong manhunt and tight restrictions around Shuafat. As part of the search, Israeli security forces choked off the camp’s entry and exit points, bringing life to a standstill for its estimated 60,000 residents.
Tamimi was eventually shot and killed after opening fire at security guards at the entrance of Maale Adumim, a sprawling Israeli settlement in the West Bank east of Jerusalem.
Israel’s new National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, an ultranationalist who oversees the police, welcomed the demolition.
“This step is very important, but not enough at all. We must destroy all terrorists’ homes and deport the terrorists themselves from the country,” he said in a statement.
Israel has carried out the demolitions of attackers’ homes well before the entry of this current government and says the tactic deters future attackers. The Palestinians and rights groups view it as collective punishment.