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Israel to demolish family home of Jerusalem car attack suspect

Nov. 15, 2014 1:33 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 17, 2014 10:21 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Friday delivered an order for the demolition of a home belonging to the family of a Palestinian man suspected of intentionally running over Israeli civilians in Jerusalem nearly a month ago, in a move expected to further inflame tensions in the city.

The mother of Abd al-Rahman al-Shaludi, 21, said that the family received the demolition order after Israeli forces raided their home in the al-Bustan neighborhood in Silwan, south of Jerusalem's Old City.

She said that according to the order, the family had until Sunday to file an appeal to an Israeli court to stop the planned demolition.

Israeli forces previously raided the family's home on Monday and took measurements of the apartment, which is on the fourth floor of a residential building.

The move by Israeli authorities follows a decision by the Israeli cabinet to demolish the homes of the families of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem suspected of intentionally hitting civilians with moving vehicles.

Watch dogs have widely criticized the Israeli policy of home demolition, previously focused on the West Bank and Gaza, saying that it contributes to a cycle of violence and merely inflicts collective punishment on family members.

Al-Shaludi was killed on Oct. 22, when Israeli border guards opened fire at him after he drove his car at high speed into a group of pedestrians near a light rail station in Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

Police say al-Shaludi acted deliberately in what they called a "hit-and-run terror attack" that left a three-month-old baby dead and six other people wounded.

The family, however, has strongly disputed the claims, condemning the police for "executing" their son on the spot instead of detaining and questioning him.

The suspect previously spent 14 months in Israeli prison and family members said he had suffered mental health problems ever since. His mother has said that only hours before the incident she had taken him to a therapist to get help.

The attack came amid months of protests across East Jerusalem, which have been put down violently by Israeli authorities. Hundreds of East Jerusalem Palestinians have been arrested in the protests.

Although Palestinians in East Jerusalem live within territory Israel has unilaterally annexed, they lack citizenship rights and are instead classified only as "residents" whose permits can be revoked if they move away from the city for more than a few years.

Jerusalem Palestinians face discrimination in all aspects of life including housing, employment, and services, and are unable to access services in the West Bank due to the construction of Israel's separation wall.
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