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Archive for Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Israel destroys teen suicide bomber’s home

November 3, 2004

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— The Israeli army destroyed the home of a teenage suicide bomber Tuesday despite his mother's public and impassioned criticism of the group that sent her son on the deadly mission.

Israeli military officials acknowledged the woman's grief but insisted the policy of demolishing bombers' houses was necessary to deter more attacks. The militants who sent the teenager said they would try to rebuild the family's home.

The incident focused new attention on an Israeli policy that has drawn criticism from Palestinians and human rights groups, which say tearing down homes amounts to collective punishment.

After the demolition, the bomber's mother, Samira Abdullah, backed off her criticism of her sons' handlers, saying her anger had subsided and praising the teenager as a hero.

On Monday, Abdullah's son, 16-year-old Eli Amer Alfar, blew himself up in an open-air market in Tel Aviv, killing three Israelis and wounding more than 30 others.

The victims were identified as Shmuel Levy, 65, a retired engineer who immigrated to Israel from Bulgaria in 1989; Leah Levine, a 67-year-old Holocaust survivor and folk dancing teacher; and Tatiana Ackerman, 32, a Russian immigrant who left a husband and 12-year-old daughter.

Israeli troops Tuesday razed the home of Alfar's family in the Askar refugee camp near Nablus in the West Bank. Alfar's family of 12, including his parents and six siblings, had removed their belongings ahead of the demolition.

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