Israeli forces storm Shuafat refugee camp, demolishes Udai Tamimi's home

Israeli forces storm Shuafat refugee camp, demolishes Udai Tamimi's home
2 min read
Jerusalem
25 January, 2023
Israeli forces demolished the home of Udai Tamimi in the Shuafat refugee camp in occupied east Jerusalem on Wednesday. Udai Tamimi, according to the Israeli police, killed one Israeli soldier at an Israeli military checkpoint last year.
Palestinian children and teachers trying to navigate inside the refugee camp as the Israeli army demolished the Tamimi home, 25 January 2023. [Ibrahim Husseini/TNA]

Israeli forces stormed the Shuafat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem on Wednesday and sealed the area where Udai Tamimi and his parents used to live.

Hundreds of Israeli troops took positions on rooftops and in alleys in the crowded Palestinian refugee camp, while at the same time, a group of them broke into a multi-floored building and proceeded to Tamimi's home. Loud thuds were heard as the Israeli army began knocking down the walls of the apartment where Udai and his parents used to live. 

Udai Tamimi, according to the Israeli police, opened fire at an Israeli military checkpoint in occupied East Jerusalem-killing, an Israeli soldier and wounding one more. 

The attack sparked a manhunt and clampdown on the east Jerusalem neighbourhood where he lived.

Skyline of Shuafat refugee camp on 25 January 2023. [Ibrahim Husseini/TNA]
Skyline of the Shuafat refugee camp on 25 January 2023. [Ibrahim Husseini/TNA]

After the shooting attack that killed the 19-year-old soldier, the attacker fled, sparking a weeklong chase and tight restrictions around the Shuafat refugee camp. During the search, Israeli security forces choked off the camp's entry and exit points, bringing life to a standstill for its estimated 60,000 residents.

Palestinian residents spoke of "siege-like" conditions as Israel tightened measures around the refugee camp. 

Tamimi,21, was eventually shot and killed after opening fire at security guards at the entrance of Maale Adumim, an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank, east of Jerusalem.

The shooting attack was portrayed as a "big blow" to the Israeli army in light of the technological advances and sophisticated surveillance systems installed in checkpoints and throughout.

Israeli special forces take aim at young Palestinian men who came out to protest the demolition of the Tamimi home, on 25 January 2023. [Ibrahim Husseini/TNA]
Israeli special forces take aim at young Palestinian men who came out to protest the demolition of the Tamimi home, on 25 January 2023. [Ibrahim Husseini/TNA]

Israel's new National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, a right-wing ultranationalist extremist who oversees the police, welcomed the demolition.

"This step is very important, but not enough at all. We must destroy all terrorists' homes and deport the terrorists themselves from the country," he said in a statement.

Israel has carried out the demolitions of attackers' homes well before the entry of this current government and says the tactic deters future attackers. The Palestinians and rights groups view it as "collective punishment." 

Minor clashes broke out between Israeli troops and young Palestinians as demolition began.