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Home Demolition in West Bank Resisted by Palestinians and Internationals

WEST BANK— Fifteen activists have barricaded themselves inside the home of the parents of a suicide bomber in the northern West Bank town of Nablus. The home has come under a house demolition order as part of a renewed trend of the Israeli Defense Forces destroying the homes of the families of Palestinians who commit bombings within Israel.
The home is that of the family of Jihad Atiti, who blew himself up in the Israeli town of Petah Tivka in May. His suicide bombing was, according to the Atiti family, provoked by the IDF assassination of his cousin and best friend Mahmoud Atiti, a member of Hamas.

The building, which normally houses fifty people, sustained gunfire from the IDF last night. In addition, the IDF arrested six Palestinian men in the adjoining home as well as two international activists, releasing them today. Most of the Palestinians living in the home have left, although four people remain with the internationals inside the building.

Activists have barricaded the doors with chains and padlocks, believing that Israeli Defense Forces will not destroy the home if internationals are inside. “People are making arrangements to be chained up inside the home,” in addition to locking the doors, Paul Larudee, a member of ISM currently inside the home, has stated.

Citing the Fourth Geneva Convention, which states that “no protected person [civilian] may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed,” the activists say that they will maintain a presence in the home until the Israeli Defense Forces withdraw. “This is a war crime,” Paul Larudee says.

Asked whether the activists are expecting violence tonight, he continued, “That is up to the soldiers. We of course are not going to return any violence.”

The IDF has recently destroyed homes in Beit Jala and Deheishe, a village and refugee camp respectively, both in the Bethlehem area.



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