Locals raise funds to rebuild demolished home of Palestinian attacker

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A group of activists on Sunday began a campaign to raise funds for the reconstruction of a home demolished by Israel belonging to a Palestinian who killed two Israelis in October.Israeli forces demolished the family home of Muhannad al-Halabi on Saturday in the village of Surda north of the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.The punitive demolition — illegal under international law — came around three months after the 19-year-old was shot dead by Israeli forces on Oct. 3, 2015 after he killed two Israelis and injured two more in Jerusalem’s Old City.A spokesman for the group, Abd al-Karim Abu Arqoub, told Ma’an that a donation box had been placed in the well-travelled thoroughfare of Yasser Arafat Square in Ramallah to collect donations, and is expected to remain in the square for a week.“This campaign is a message to the Israeli occupation that whatever procedures they take, people will continue to support the families of martyrs and victims of occupation,” Abu Arqoub said, referring to the support as the “collective responsibility” of Palestinians.The campaign to rebuild the home has reportedly been supported by the Syndicate of Palestinian Engineers which announced the syndicate would take charge of designs, blueprints, licensing and technical supervision during the construction process.Such fundraising campaigns have become common since Israel increased a policy of punitive home demolition against Palestinians who carried out or were suspected of carrying out attacks on Israeli military or civilians.Several homes have been demolished since attacks increased in October of 2015, despite past reports by an Israeli military committee that revealed the practice was not an effective deterrent for future attacks and increased hostility against Israel.Palestinian youth in Nablus last month reportedly raised one million shekels ($259,000) in donations for Palestinian families whose homes were demolished in the area.The donations totaled 800,000 shekels ($207,300) in cash and 200,000 shekels ($51,800) in items like construction materials, land, furniture and electronics.Local organizers told Ma’an at the time that most of the funds would likely used to buy and rent apartments, as Israeli authorities were not allowing the families of accused attackers to rebuild their homes.

(Source / 10.01.2016)

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