The US will prioritize placing pressure on Israel regarding its policy of demolishing the homes of terrorists, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Thursday.
“We attach a good deal of priority to this, knowing that the home of an entire family shouldn’t be demolished for the action of one individual,” Price said at a press briefing.
“The secretary and other senior officials here at the State Department in recent days have raised these concerns directly with senior Israeli officials, and we will continue to do so as long as this practice continues. As we’ve said numerous times now, the home of an entire family should not be demolished for the actions of one individual,” Price concluded.
The US criticism is a departure from the policy of previous administrations who did not involve themselves in Israel’s practice of home demolitions.
Price’s statement followed the US’s public condemnation of the demolition of the home of Muntassar Shalabi, who murdered yeshivah student Yehuda Guetta, h’yd, 19, and injured two others in a drive-by terror shooting attack on May 2.
The demolition was delayed for several days due to the US attempt to stop it but Israeli officials at the time said that they will ultimately carry out the demolition even if it means a conflict with the US.
A spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office responded to the US statement on Thursday by saying: “The Prime Minister appreciates and respects the US government. At the same time, he acts only in accordance with Israel’s security considerations and the protection of the lives of Israeli citizens.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)