Thursday, July 14, 2016

The father of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, slain by Israelis in 2014, says that Israel must demolish the homes of his Jewish murderers

Two years after his son's gruesome murder, Hussein Abu Khdeir is suing Israeli authorities to demand the demolition of the homes of his son's Jewish killers. If he succeeds, Abu Khdeir will force Israeli authorities to treat Jewish and Palestinian terrorists with the same measures. But experts say that his chances are slim. Mohammed was 16 when Jewish extremists abducted him in July 2014. The assailants, Yossef Haim Ben David and two minors, drove Abu Khdeir to a Jerusalem forest and burned him to death. For Hussein Abu Khdeir, it was the start of a saga that has thrust him onto the national stage. "I don't want another Palestinian child to burn like Mohammed," he said. Within days, Israeli authorities apprehended the three suspects. The Israelis were convicted, and they were sentenced to long jail terms in 2016. Days after the sentencing of the main suspect, Ben David, in May 2016, Abu Khdeir appealed to then-defense minister Moshe Yaalon to demand that the state demolish the homes of all three Israeli perpetrators "to reduce the phenomenon of terrorism against innocent citizens." The defense minister's office declined to demolish the homes of the Jewish assailants, saying the case of Jewish extremism was exceptional and did not enjoy support of Israeli society. By contrast, demolishing homes of Palestinian assailants served as a deterrent because terrorist acts are widely supported by Palestinian society, according to the office of the minister. Abu Khdeir's attorney Mohannad Gbara is now suing the defense minister in Israel's Supreme Court. He says that Jewish terrorism is on the rise and requires harsher tactics. Gbara named a 2015 attack by Jewish arsonists on a home in the Palestinian village of Duma, which killed a toddler and his parents. "I think if they don't destroy their houses, this is not a democratic state. It's a state of apartheid, a racist state you cannot live in," Abu Khdeir said.

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