Creating new perspectives since 2009

Israel destroys West Bank home of detained US citizen 

Israeli forces have demolished the family home of Palestinian-American Montaser Shalabi

July 9, 2021 at 2:16 pm

Israeli forces have demolished the family home of Palestinian-American Montaser Shalabi, who was accused of being involved in a shooting that killed one Israeli and injured two others. Shalabi was indicted in an Israeli military court in the occupied West Bank in May when Israeli student Yehuda Guetta was shot dead.

A father of seven and estranged from his wife, Shalabi appealed in an Israeli court against the demolition, saying that he spent most of the year in the US and only came to the occupied West Bank for a visit every summer.

An Israeli human rights group also appealed against the razing of the Shalabi family home, stating Shalabi suffered from mental health issues and had been prescribed antipsychotic medication.

READ: Israel expels former Palestinian prisoners from occupied Jerusalem 

The appeal was unsuccessful, and their two-storey home in Turmus’ayya was flattened by occupation forces in a controlled explosion yesterday.

Human rights groups have repeatedly condemned Israel’s use of demolitions as a form of collective punishment, illegal under international law.

Sanaa Shalabi, the accused Palestinian-American’s wife, told Al Jazeera: “They want to demoralise us, but we are steadfast. This is the situation of the entire Palestinian people.”

The US embassy released a statement following the demolition, calling on “all parties to refrain from unilateral steps that exacerbate tensions and undercut efforts to advance a negotiated two-state solution.”

“This certainly includes the punitive demolition of Palestinian homes,” a US embassy spokesperson told Al Jazeera.

As we stated numerous times, the home of an entire family should not be demolished for the actions of one individual.