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Youth raise 1 million shekel for victims of punitive home demolitions

Dec. 14, 2015 12:37 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 14, 2015 5:43 P.M.)
A young boy inspects the damage in a house demolished by Israeli troops in Qalandiya on Nov.16, 2015. (AFP/File)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Palestinian youth in Nablus have raised one million shekels ($259,000) in donations for Palestinian families whose homes were demolished following recent alleged and attempted attacks on Israelis, head of the fundraiser told Ma'an.

Mazin al-Danbak said a local youth initiative in Nablus started to raise the money one week ago. 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.

Al-Danbak said the funds were deposited with a popular committee in Nablus until distribution of the donations can be organized.

Al-Danbak added that Israeli authorities are not allowing the families of accused attackers to rebuild their homes, so most of the funds will be used to buy and rent apartments.

Israeli authorities since October have launched a campaign against alleged attackers and their families in efforts to “deter” future attacks. Such efforts include mass-arrest raids, the sealing of Palestinian towns, and punitive home demolitions.

Punitive home demolitions were expedited at the request of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mid-October, and several have been carried out since.

The move came despite past recommendations by an Israeli military committee that the practice does not deter attacks.

While families who receive demolition orders are given the opportunity to appeal the measures, Israel’s High Court of Justice typically rejects such appeals, according to Israeli watchdog Hamoked.

Israeli rights group B’Tselem condemned the practice in October as "court sanctioned revenge," carried out on family members who have not committed crimes, amounting to collective punishment.
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