IDF to demolish home of soldier’s murderer

The multi-story structure was illegally rebuilt after being destroyed following a terrorist attack by the killer’s brother in 1994.

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The IDF Spokesperson announced Thursday that the entire house of First Sergeant Ronen Lubarsky’s killer in al-Amari near Ramallah would be destroyed.

The murderer, Islam Yousef Abu Hamid, dropped a marble slab on the soldier’s head during an arrest operation his unit carried out in May in the Ramallah area, and Lubarsky soon died of his injuries. The terrorist was arrested two weeks later, and talk almost immediately began regarding demolishing his family’s home, a move that many consider to be a deterrent to stop other potential attacks.

The original plan, however, was to demolish only two of the four floors of the home. It was then found that this house had been reconstructed illegally after the original structure was destroyed by Israeli authorities following the 1994 murder of a Shin Bet operative, Noam Cohen, at the hands of one of Abu Hamid’s brothers.

Cohen’s car was ambushed in a hail of gunfire during a Shin Bet operation near Ramallah. When he stepped out of the car to return fire, he was mortally wounded and later died. Two other colleagues were injured in the attack.

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“The family was not allowed to rebuild the building, and now the IDF has decided to demolish the entire new building that was built,” read the IDF statement.

According to the Tazpit Press Service, four of Abu Hamid’s sibling are Hamas terrorists serving life sentences in Israeli jails for their roles in various attacks on Jews. Abu Hamid himself spent five years in prison from 2004 – 2009 for his Hamas-related activities.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman tweeted his approval of the order, saying, “We are fighting terror with determination,” and adding, “The demolition will be carried out as soon as possible. There is no compromise in the war on terror, only an iron hand.”

Lubarsky’s father had begged the army earlier this month to destroy the house as soon as possible, demanding,“The demolition of the home of the terrorist must show the soldiers, whose comrade in arms was murdered, that the state backs them and does not abandon them in life or in death.”

It remains to be seen if the family’s other request – that Abu Hamid receive the death penalty – will be granted.