The struggle for destroying the houses of terrorists’ families: the Palestinian Authority and Fatah help rebuild houses destroyed by Israel, thereby challenging the Israeli deterrent message.

The destruction of the house of one of the terrorists in the village of Yatta, August 2016. The two terrorists carried out a shooting attack in the Sarona entertainment complex in the heart of Tel Aviv (al-Quds, December 12, 2018).

The destruction of the house of one of the terrorists in the village of Yatta, August 2016. The two terrorists carried out a shooting attack in the Sarona entertainment complex in the heart of Tel Aviv (al-Quds, December 12, 2018).

The IDF destroys the Abu Hamid house in the al-Am'ari refugee camp in Ramallah (Wafa, December 15, 2018).

The IDF destroys the Abu Hamid house in the al-Am'ari refugee camp in Ramallah (Wafa, December 15, 2018).

Event held in the mourning tent erected for Ashraf Na'alwa to collect donations and report on intentions to build the family a new house (QudsN Twitter account, December 21, 2018; Palinfo Twitter account, December 21, 2018).

Event held in the mourning tent erected for Ashraf Na'alwa to collect donations and report on intentions to build the family a new house (QudsN Twitter account, December 21, 2018; Palinfo Twitter account, December 21, 2018).

The members of the Tulkarm municipality, headed by mayor Muhammad Yaqub (third from left). The pictures on the back wall are Yasser Arafat (left) and Mahmoud Abbas (Tulkarm municipality website, December 26, 2018).

The members of the Tulkarm municipality, headed by mayor Muhammad Yaqub (third from left). The pictures on the back wall are Yasser Arafat (left) and Mahmoud Abbas (Tulkarm municipality website, December 26, 2018).

A check for 25,000 shekels for the rebuilding of the house of terrorist Ashraf Na'alwa, donated by a car trade company in Tulkarm (Malak al-Fakhouri's Twitter account, December 22, 2018).

A check for 25,000 shekels for the rebuilding of the house of terrorist Ashraf Na'alwa, donated by a car trade company in Tulkarm (Malak al-Fakhouri's Twitter account, December 22, 2018).

Al-'Awad receives new cars from the Port of Ashdod in Israel (al-Fajr TV, Tulkarm, October 31, 2018).

Al-'Awad receives new cars from the Port of Ashdod in Israel (al-Fajr TV, Tulkarm, October 31, 2018).

Overview

The Palestinian Authority (PA), Fatah and institutions affiliated with them help rebuild the houses destroyed by Israel that belonged to terrorists’ families. The rebuilding is an act of defiance to challenge the deterrent message Israel sends by destroying the houses. The PA policy was recent illustrated by two cases: the Tulkarm municipality and Fatah activists donated funds and supervise the engineering aspects of rebuilding the house of the family of terrorist Ashraf Na’alwa, who murdered two Israelis in the Barkan industrial zone. In addition, a senior Fatah figure said Mahmoud Abbas had ordered the rebuilding of the family house of terrorist Islam Yusuf Abu Hamid, who killed an IDF soldiers by throwing a slab of marble on him during an IDF security activity.

 

The IDF destroys the houses of terrorists' families and the Palestinians rebuild them (Isma'il al-Bazam's Facebook page. December 17, 2018).
The IDF destroys the houses of terrorists’ families and the Palestinians rebuild them (Isma’il al-Bazam’s Facebook page. December 17, 2018).

Israel’s destruction of the houses of terrorists’ families
  • Israeli security forces recently destroyed two houses of terrorists who carried out lethal attacks. The destruction of houses, which has the backing of the Israeli judicial system, is mainly carried out for purposes of deterrence in the wake of the wave of terrorism in Judea and Samaria during the past few months.[1] The destruction of the terrorists’ houses was condemned by the PA, whose spokesmen publicly declared that the PA would help rebuild them.
  • During December 2018 the Israeli security forces destroyed the houses of two terrorists:
    • On December 15, 2018, the Israeli security forces destroyed the four-story house in the al-Am’ari refugee camp (Ramallah area) of the family of Islam Yusuf Abu Hamid (who killed an IDF soldier during a security activity by throwing a slab of marble on him, May 26, 2018). Dozens on Palestinians rioted in the refugee camp, throwing stones at the Israeli security forces (IDF spokesman, December 15, 2018).
    • On December 16, 2018, Israeli security forces destroyed the first floor and basement of the house where Ashraf Na’alwa and his family lived in the Shuweika neighborhood on the outskirts of Tulkarm (Na’alwa carried out a shooting attack in the Barkan industrial zone on October 7, 2018, murdering two Israelis). Dozens of Palestinians rioted during the activity, burning tires, throwing stones and Molotov cocktails, and shooting fireworks (IDF spokesman, December 17, 2018).
  • In addition, preparations were recently made to destroy the houses of the families of other terrorists: the commander of the IDF Central Command signed an order for the destruction of the house of the terrorist who murdered an Israeli at the entrance to a shopping mall in Gush Etzion on September 16, 2018 (IDF spokesman, December 16, 2018). On December 12, 2018, the Israeli security forces began examining the technical-engineering aspects of destroying the houses of the families of the two terrorists who carried out the shooting attack in the Sarona entertainment complex (in the heart of Tel Aviv) in June 2016 (killing four people). The buildings, in the village of Yatta (south of Hebron), were destroyed in August 2016 but rebuilt without a permit. The IDF is considering destroying them again (IDF spokesman, December 12, 2018).

The destruction of the house of one of the terrorists in the village of Yatta, August 2016. The two terrorists carried out a shooting attack in the Sarona entertainment complex in the heart of Tel Aviv (al-Quds, December 12, 2018).
The destruction of the house of one of the terrorists in the village of Yatta, August 2016. The two terrorists carried out a shooting attack in the Sarona entertainment complex in the heart of Tel Aviv (al-Quds, December 12, 2018).

PA and Fatah aid for rebuilding the house of the Abu Hamid family

On December 25, 2018, senior Fatah figure Jamal al-Muheisen[2] met in his office in Ramallah with the committee appointed to implement Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to rebuild the house of the family of terrorist Islam Yusuf Abu Hamid in the al-Am’ari refugee camp in Ramallah. At the meeting he stressed the need to speed up the restoration of the house to its previous state. He promised that in addition to restoring the family’s house, the nearby houses that had been damaged during the IDF activity would be repaired and temporary dwellings would be rented for the families that lived in them.

  • At the meeting in Ramallah al-Muheisen reiterated that the PA and Fatah would remain loyal to the shaheeds, the prisoners and all their families until the establishment of the state of Palestine. He also said that Fatah would continue to rebuild the houses destroyed by the IDF in Jerusalem, Jenin, Nablus, Gaza and Hebron. Present were representatives from the ministry of public works, the national security forces, the al-Bireh municipality, the engineers’ union and members of the Abu Hamid family (website of Fatah’s bureau of mobilization and organization, December 25, 2018).
  •  On December 15, 2018, Jamal al-Muheisen visited the solidarity tent erected by the Abu Hamid family in the al-Am’ari refugee camp in Ramallah. He said he was officially speaking for Mahmoud Abbas and that he had met with him that morning. He said Mahmoud Abbas had appointed him to fully rebuild the family’s house in the same location, and that they [Fatah and the PA] would accompany the family in the coming months (Jamal al-Muheisen’s Facebook page, December 15, 2018).
 Senior Fatah figure Jamal al-Muheisen (third from left) in the solidarity tent erected by the family of Islam Yusuf Abu Hamid in the al-Am'ari refugee camp in Ramallah. He brought an official message from Mahmoud Abbas, saying the family's house would be fully rebuilt (Jamal al-Muheisen's Facebook page, December 15, 2018)   Senior Fatah figure Jamal al-Muheisen (third from left) in the solidarity tent erected by the family of Islam Yusuf Abu Hamid in the al-Am'ari refugee camp in Ramallah. He brought an official message from Mahmoud Abbas, saying the family's house would be fully rebuilt (Jamal al-Muheisen's Facebook page, December 15, 2018)
Senior Fatah figure Jamal al-Muheisen (third from left) in the solidarity tent erected by the family of Islam Yusuf Abu Hamid in the al-Am’ari refugee camp in Ramallah. He brought an official message from Mahmoud Abbas, saying the family’s house would be fully rebuilt (Jamal al-Muheisen’s Facebook page, December 15, 2018)
The Tulkarm municipality and senior Fatah figures prepare to rebuild the house of the Na’alwa family

A committee was recently formed in Tulkarm to oversee with rebuilding the family house of Ashraf Na’alwa, who shot two Israelis to death in an attack in the Barkan industrial zone. The committee is composed of residents of Shuweika (a neighborhood in the northern part of Tulkarm), where Ashraf Na’alwa lived, and is supported by Fatah and the Tulkarm municipality. On December 21, 2018, the committee erected a mourning tent in Shuweika and held an event asking for donations. The members of the committee told those who came to offer condolences about the preparations being made to build a new house.

  • At the event the members of the committee told the Na’alwa family about their intention to build a new house, separate from the old one. They said that if the engineering examinations indicated it was possible to restore the old house, it would be restored. In that case, the new house would be turned over to the waqf (the Muslim endowment) for the shaheeds and would serve as a social center (Palinfo, December 21, 2018; Facebook page of Shuweika al-Ijtimaiya, December 21, 2018).
  • The Tulkarm municipality plays a central role in the activities to build the new house: at the event in the Na’alwa mourning tent the municipality announced a donation of 10,000 Jordanian dinars (a little over $14,000). The goal is to rebuild “the house of the heroic shaheed Ashraf Na’alwa.” The municipality took upon itself to prepare all the technical plans for building the house and to be responsible for inspecting its construction (Tulkarm municipality Facebook page , December 21, 2018)
Tulkarm mayor Muhammad Yaqub briefs the Palestinians who attended the event about the municipality's donation to rebuilding the house of the Na'alwa family (Facebook page of Shuweika al-Ijtimaiya, December 21, 2018).     The announcement on the Tulkarm municipality's Facebook page about the support it plans to give to rebuild the house that was destroyed (Tulkarm municipality Facebook page. December 21, 2018).
Right: The announcement on the Tulkarm municipality’s Facebook page about the support it plans to give to rebuild the house that was destroyed (Tulkarm municipality Facebook page. December 21, 2018). Left: Tulkarm mayor Muhammad Yaqub briefs the Palestinians who attended the event about the municipality’s donation to rebuilding the house of the Na’alwa family (Facebook page of Shuweika al-Ijtimaiya, December 21, 2018).
  • The Tulkarm municipality is subordinate to the PA. The mayor, apparently affiliated with Fatah, is Muhammad Yaqub, appointed mayor by the members of the municipality council in May 2017 after the previous mayor retired because of an illness. The mayor is a PA employee, and the municipality is directly subordinate to the minister of local government, who allots the budgets of the local authorities.
  • In addition to the donation from the Tulkarm municipality, prominent were donations from two Fatah activists:
    • Hamdan Saifan, secretary of the Tulkarm Fatah branch, said he would donate 25,000 shekels (about $6,650).
    • Mu’eid Sha’aban, a member of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council and former secretary of the Tulkarm Fatah branch, said he would donate $10,000 (Tulkarm al-Hadath Facebook page, December 21, 2018).
Backing from the governor of the Tulkarm district for the Na’alwa family
  • On December 18, 2018, Issam Abu Baker, the governor of the Tulkarm district, visited the house of the Na’alwa family in Shuweika to get a first-hand look at the ruins of the building. He led a large delegation, among whose members were the heads of the PA security services and Tulkarm mayor Muhammad Yaqub. Abu Baker condemned the IDF destruction of the house and said they stood in solidarity with the Na’alwa family and would continue to give support in every way possible (al-Fajr TV, December 18, 2018). Issam Abu Baker is a long-time Fatah member from Nablus. Since December 2014 he has been the governor of the Tulkarm district and is directly subordinate to the office of the PA chairman.

Picture and article on the official Facebook page of Issam Abu Baker, the governor of the Tulkarm district, about his visit to the house of the Na'alwa family after it was destroyed by Israel (Issam Abu Baker's Facebook page, December 18, 2018).
Picture and article on the official Facebook page of Issam Abu Baker, the governor of the Tulkarm district, about his visit to the house of the Na’alwa family after it was destroyed by Israel (Issam Abu Baker’s Facebook page, December 18, 2018).

Donation from a car trade company in Tulkarm
  • During the event for donations in the mourning tent a donation of 25,000 shekels (about $6650) was made by a car trade company in Tulkarm. The check was drawn on an account in an Arab bank, apparently the account of the company.

A check for 25,000 shekels for the rebuilding of the house of terrorist Ashraf Na'alwa, donated by a car trade company in Tulkarm (Malak al-Fakhouri's Twitter account, December 22, 2018).
A check for 25,000 shekels for the rebuilding of the house of terrorist Ashraf Na’alwa, donated by a car trade company in Tulkarm (Malak al-Fakhouri’s Twitter account, December 22, 2018).

  • The company that donated the funds is the al-‘Awad car trade company, located in Shuweika, a neighborhood in northern Tulkarm. It is owned by a businessman named Muhammad Wasfi, who imports new vehicles and also sells second-hand cars (al-‘Awad Facebook page). According to a program broadcast on al-Fajr, the local TV station, the company imports new vehicles through the Port of Ashdod in Israel. From there they are brought to Tulkarm by the al-Tahan truck company from east Jerusalem (al-Fajr TV, Tulkarm, October 31, 2018).

[1] For further information, see the December 16, 2018, bulletin "Recent Increase in Terrorist Attacks in Judea and Samaria – The situation on the ground."
[2] Jamal al-Muheisen is a member of Fatah's Central Committee and head of Fatah's bureau of mobilization and organization in Judea and Samaria.