The Biden Administration last week took a firm stance against Israel’s policy of demolishing the family homes of Palestinian terrorists as a means of deterrence. Israeli officials and media fired back at the weekend.
Last Wednesday, the IDF knocked down the family home of Muntasser Shalabi near Ramallah, the de facto Palestinian capital. Back in May, Shalabi opened fire on Jewish students at the Tapuach Junction in Samaria, killing one and wounding two others.
Israel’s Supreme Court rejected a petition by Shalabi’s family to leave their home standing despite his murderous actions. But US State Department spokesman Ned Price said Israel was wrong to take such measures. It should be noted that Shalabi, who was arrested following the murder, is a US citizen.
“The home of an entire family shouldn’t be demolished for the action of one individual,” said Price following the demolition of the Shalabi home. “Punitive demolitions exacerbate tensions at a time when everyone should be focused on principally ensuring calm.”
Israeli Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel responded that “we will continue to do what is right for the State of Israel.”
Speaking to Kan 11, Hendel added that “sometimes we may disagree with he US government, but most of the time we will go hand-in-hand.”
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office issued a similar response: “The Prime Minister appreciates and respects the US government. At the same time, he acts only in accordance with considerations for the State of Israel’s security, and to protect the lives of Israeli citizens.”
Among Hebrew-language media, the US condemnation was heavily panned.
In one particularly aggressive example, Israel Hayom columnist Nadav Shragai called out what he saw as American hypocrisy, wondering how the Biden White House could get so upset over the demolition of one terrorist’s house when “US Forces have left in their wake thousands, if not tens of thousands, of civilians killed in war zones in Iraq, Afghanistan and other locales.”