israel demolishes house ramallah
© Reuters / Mohamad Torokman
Smoke rises as Israeli forces blow up the house in al-Amari refugee camp in Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on December 15, 2018.
The Israeli army has razed the home of a Palestinian who has been jailed, charged with killing a soldier. It's the third time the family's home has been demolished and more of its members are in jail, on charges including murder.

Early on Saturday, a massive Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) detachment arrived at the El Amari refugee camp close to the Palestinian city of Ramallah. Troops secured the four-story house, belonging to the Abu Humaid family, evicting its residents and some activists, who tried to prevent the demolition.

Footage from the scene shows Israeli army bulldozers and military personnel at the camp. The house was destroyed in a controlled explosion after the site was secured.


The operation was mounted in retaliation for the killing of an IDF soldier during a raid on the refugee camp in May. Back then, 20-yo Staff Sgt. Ronen Lubarsky was hit by a large marble slab, hurled from a rooftop. He succumbed to his injuries two days later and a 32-year-old Palestinian, Islam Abu Humaid, was detained shortly afterwards. Abu Humaid stands accused of killing the soldier and attempting to obstruct justice by tampering with the crime scene.


The destruction of the house left the family unbroken and they vowed to rebuild it - again. The house had twice been razed by the Israeli military, during retaliation ops over the past three decades.

"All my sons have been either martyred or imprisoned, and that didn't break me," the family's matriarch Latifa Abu Humaid said, adding that such actions of the "enemy" only make the "animosity" stronger.

Two of Abu Humaid's other sons are in Israeli custody, charged with the killings of five Israelis, while two others stand accused of serious security offenses. Another sibling was killed by the Israeli military back in the early 1990s. The alleged killer of Lubarsky himself had been incarcerated by Israel for five years for "terrorist activities" committed on behalf of the Hamas Islamist group, according to local media.

Israeli authorities stand by the demolition of the family homes of "terrorists," defending it as an effective deterrence measure. Many human rights groups, however, have condemned it as a form of collective punishment, while others have raised questions over its actual effectiveness in supposedly discouraging potential "terrorists" from partaking in illicit activities.