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Israel detains 40 students after attending rally in support of Palestinian family, whose home was razed

At least 40 Birzeit University pupils – the educational establishment that prides itself in being “the most prestigious Palestinian university” and “a thorn in the side of the occupation” – were arbitrarily detained by Israeli occupation forces on Wednesday evening. This occurred after they attended a small demonstration at the former site of Montasser Shalabi’s family home in Turmus Ayya. The house had been reduced to rubble after apartheid forces callously demolished the structure earlier this month on July 8. [1] [2]

The Palestinian-American Shalabi was arrested in May when he was charged in connection with the shooting death of an Israeli at a Nablus checkpoint. Israeli outlets such as i24 News – which recently opened a regional office in the UAE after a thawing in diplomatic relations between the Zionist state and the rulers of the Emirates – consider the annihilation of Shalabi’s family home to be justified due to his alleged “terrorist” status. [3]

The controlled explosion of the family’s home was filmed from a nearby spot, and then shared on the i24 News Français YouTube channel. In a video entitled “Cisjordanie: destruction de la maison d’un terroriste” or “West Bank: destruction of a terrorist’s house”, explosive charges are seen going off consecutively, as smoke plumes rise up and bricks and mortar come crashing down. [4]

The YouTube video tries to portray the levelling of Shalabi’s family home as being a means of “deterring future terrorist attacks”, going on to add (from the original French) the following:

“The Israeli army on Thursday morning demolished the family home of a Palestinian in the West Bank, accused of having killed an Israeli student in a shootout last May, after Washington reportedly called for the operation to be suspended.

“Montasser Shalabi, 44, and father of seven, is accused of killing 19-year-old Yehuda Guetta at the Tapuah junction in the northern West Bank on May 2 during a shooting in front of a police station and bus stop. The gunfire also injured two other Israeli teenagers, one of them seriously.

“The demolition of Shalabi’s house in the town of Tarmas Ayya is aimed at deterring future terrorist attacks, according to the Israeli security establishment and the Supreme Court.” [4]

The scale of the egregious obliteration of the Shalabi family home is further compounded by the fact that the residence belonged to his estranged wife, Sanaa, and her three children.

However, as is the case with many Palestinians who have been through similar ordeals at the hands of the Zionist regime, Sanaa Shalabi was resolute in her response to the destruction of her home.

She told reporters:

“They want to demoralise us, but we are steadfast. This is the situation of the entire Palestinian people.” [5]

The Zionist state of ‘Israel’ considers this act to be a deterrent against as of yet unproven charges which Montasser Shalabi faces. But it has in fact exceeded its boundaries by targeting the home of innocent Palestinians, who are now dispossessed.

The Israeli annihilation of the home was categorically uncalled for, such to the extent that the US Embassy in Jerusalem sharply criticised the decision. In an unprecedented statement that openly lambasted the Zionist state, a spokesperson for the Embassy made the following critical remarks:

“As we stated numerous times, the home of an entire family should not be demolished for the actions of one individual.” [5]

The statement from the US, which came shortly after the demolition took place, also added that both sides to the ongoing conflict must:

“…refrain from unilateral steps that exacerbate tensions and undercut efforts to advance a negotiated two-state solution, this certainly includes the punitive demolition of Palestinian homes.” [5]

Source: www.islam21c.com


[1] https://www.birzeit.edu/en/about/history

[2] https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/israel-arrests-palestinian-students-west-bank-village

[3] https://www.islam21c.com/news-views/pro-netanyahu-israeli-tv-channel-i24-news-to-open-dubai-office/

[4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhUHufvEMUM

[5] https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/israeli-demolishes-family-home-suspected-palestinian-attacker-2021-07-08/

About Shaheer Choudhury

Shaheer is a regular contributor for Islam21c. He maintains a strong interest in current affairs, as well as the changing global conditions of Muslim populations. Prior to joining Islam21c, he developed a number of years' experience in the health and social care sector and has previously volunteered at the Muslim Youth Helpline.

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