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“Israel” Demolishes Palestinian Homes
By Staff, Agencies
At dawn on Thursday, the “Israeli” Occupation Forces [IOF] stormed Ramallah city in the occupied West Bank and blew up the family home of a Palestinian prisoner.
The large contingent of “Israeli” soldiers poured into Ramallah al-Tahta [lower Ramallah] in the Old City area, cordoning off the family home of 27-year-old Islam Faroukh.
According to residents, the “Israelis” spent hours planting explosives that later pulverized the Faroukh family’s apartment.
Video footage of the operation showed IOF troops painstakingly planting explosives in the walls of the home before the massive blast that turned the spacious apartment to ruins and rubble, while also blowing out the windows of homes in the neighborhood.
“My son is still under arrest and has not been tried yet,” Islam’s mother Abeer Faroukh said.
“How is the house blown up in such a way that affected the whole neighborhood, before a fair trial for my son?” she asked.
With her son innocent until proven guilty in court, Abeer Faroukh says the “real crime” was the destruction of the family’s home and the damage done to the neighborhood.
Demolishing the homes of Palestinians “suspected of carrying out attacks” on “Israelis” is a long-held practice of the “Israeli” entity. Thousands of Palestinian people have lost their homes to demolitions in what human rights groups say is a policy by the entity of “collective punishment” that may amount to war crimes.
“International humanitarian law, including the Hague Regulations of 1907 and the Fourth Geneva Convention, prohibits collective punishment, including deliberately harming the relatives of those accused of committing crimes, in all circumstances,” Human Rights Watch said in February.
“Courts around the world have treated collective punishment as a war crime,” the rights group said.
Arrested in December, Islam Faroukh was accused of carrying out an operation at bus stops in al-Quds [Jerusalem] that killed two settlers and wounded 14 others. He has denied the allegations.
“We are sure that he is innocent,” said Harbi Faroukh, Islam’s father, adding that his son may face a life sentence in jail because of “unjust accusations”.
The family tried to appeal the demolition order to “Israel’s” so-called High Court, seeking to have their homes sealed rather than destroyed, but to no avail.
“The house is not ours. It belongs to Islam’s grandfather, and we tried to clarify this matter with the ‘Israeli’ authorities,” the father said.
“It is a losing policy that does not enrich or fatten from hunger.”
All residents in the four-story building where the Faroukh family had their apartment were ordered out when the “Israeli” soldiers arrived at about 10 p.m. [20:00 GMT] to start setting their explosives.
Residents were prevented from returning to check on their homes until after the soldiers withdrew at about 7 a.m. [05:00 GMT] on Thursday and detonated the explosion that turned the Faroukh home into little more than holes in brick and concrete walls.
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