Palestinians raise money to rebuild home demolished by Israel

Palestinians raise money to rebuild home demolished by Israel
In act of defiance, Palestinians in West Bank gathered funds to rebuild the house of a Palestinian youth Israel had shot dead, before demolishing his home for alleged stabbing attack.
2 min read
13 January, 2016
Over $60,000 was raised in two days [AFP]

Palestinians have raised more than $60,000 to rebuild a home in the occupied West Bank demolished by Israel, organisers of the collection said Tuesday.

Israel demolished the home of Mohannad Halabi, a 19-year-old student, who allegedly stabbed two Israeli men in Jerusalem's Old City, before police shot him dead.

The 3 October killings were among the first of the current wave of violence in which 149 Palestinians, 23 Israelis and an American have been killed to date.

The Israeli army on Saturday carried out the punitive demolition of the Halabi home in the occupied West Bank village of Surda, near Ramallah.

Claimed by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group as one of its members, Halabi is seen by some Palestinians as a laudable figure of resistance to Israeli occupation.

The grassroots campaign to rebuild his family home took off quickly.

"In two days, we raised $60,000," campaign coordinator Morsi Abu Ghueila said, standing next to a large transparent collection box in a central Ramallah square, labelled "Mohannad Halabi, initiator of the Jerusalem intifada."

Inside lie banknotes in Israeli shekels, Jordanian dinars, US dollars and euros.

People are also donating building materials, said campaign spokesman Abdul Karim Abu Arqub.

Standing in the ruins of his home, Mohannad's father Shafiq Halabi paid tribute to "the help of the Palestinian people."

The Israelis forbade him to rebuild it, but he pledged that if they stop him, "I shall put up a tent here and return to live on my land with my children."

Israel has stepped up such punitive demolitions in an effort to deter attacks, but its actions have been condemned by rights groups as collective punishment against entire families.

With agencies.