4 children homeless as Israel blows up Palestinian prisoner’s home

Middle East Monitor  /  February 12, 2021

Israeli occupation forces blew up the family home of a Palestinian prisoner being held in Israeli jails, who is accused of killing a settler last December.

The move came a week after the Israeli High Court of Justice gave the go-ahead to destroy the two-floor building in which Muhammad Maruh Kabha lived, based in the village of Tura, southwest of Jenin.

On Wednesday, Israeli occupation forces raided the village and declared it a closed military zone before proceeding to plant explosives and demolish the exterior walls of Kabha’s home, which houses his wife and four children.

Israeli forces reportedly attacked local residents and prevented them from leaving or entering the village, resulting in an elderly woman suffocating and being taken to a hospital for medical treatment.

Settler Esther Horgen was killed on 20 December, near the settlement of Tal Menashe, north of the occupied West Bank. Kahba has been charged with her murder but has not been convicted.

Israel’s widely practiced home demolitions targeting entire families are acts of illegal collective punishment and are a direct violation of international human rights law.

Governor of Jenin, Akram Rjoub, condemned the occupation’s actions, saying: “This is another crime by the Israeli occupation against our people … It will not break our determination and will.” He announced that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas gave instruction to provide the family with whatever assistance it needs to help recover and live a decent life, including a place to live.

Data released by the Israeli human rights movement, Peace Now, demonstrates that there were 661,000 illegal Israeli settlers living in 132 large settlements and 124 random settlement outposts (not authorised by the Israeli government) in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as of late November. Both settlements and outposts are deemed illegal under international law.