Israel demolishes home of Palestinian attacker's family in East Jerusalem

Israel demolishes home of Palestinian attacker's family in East Jerusalem
2 min read
15 November, 2023
The family home of a Palestinian man who carried out a deadly shooting in Jerusalem early this year was demolished on Wednesday.
Israeli police demolished the Alqam family home in the Al-Tur neighbourhood [Getty]

Israeli police said Wednesday they had demolished the home of the family of a Palestinian who killed seven Israelis and a Ukrainian near a synagogue in a settlement in occupied East Jerusalem.

Khayri Alqam was shot dead in the 27 January attack and his family later received a demolition order for their apartment, under a long-standing policy of collective punishment of families of Palestinians who kill Israelis.

At the time, the United Nations said the shooting in Neve Yaakov was the deadliest attack on Israelis since 2008.

The Alqam home in the Al-Tur neighbourhood was sealed within 48 hours of the shooting, with relatives forced to clear out their belongings and leave.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967 and later annexed it in a move not recognised internationally.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his extreme-right coalition partners moved in January to further punish the families of Palestinian attackers, such as by removing their social security rights.

Khayri Alqam shared the name of his grandfather, who was killed in 1998 by an Israeli extremist.

An Israeli man was arrested in 2010 for that attack and a series of other murders of Palestinians, although he was later released and ultimately no one was convicted over the killing.

The demolition of the homes of Palestinians "suspected of carrying out attacks" on Israelis is a long-held practice which has been slammed by international rights groups as a form of collective punishment. 

Rights groups say demolitions leave uninvolved parents, spouses, and children of alleged attackers homeless and thousands of Palestinians have been displaced as a result.