Palestinian donations buy a villa for terrorist’s family

Israeli police near the scene of a stabbing attack in the Old City of Jerusalem on October 3, 2015 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)


The family of Muhannad Shafeq Halabi, a terrorist who killed two Israelis in a stabbing attack that marked the start of the latest wave of violence, on Tuesday acquired a new villa with the help of funds raised from the Palestinian public.

The family’s home in the town of el Bireh was demolished by the IDF on January 9.

The new house was purchased with public donations via a campaign called “Building Houses for Free Men,” which seeks to rebuild the homes of Palestinian attackers that were demolished by Israel.

The campaign places glass collection boxes along the main streets of Palestinian villages, and cities and the public fills them with banknotes over a week or two.

Over several weeks, the campaign collected millions of shekels’ worth of donations, funding, among other things, the purchase of the house.

Muhannad Shafeq Halabi, 19, who killed two Israelis on October 3, 2015 in a terror attack in Jerusalem's Old City. (Israel Police)

Muhannad Shafeq Halabi, 19, who killed two Israelis on October 3, 2015 in a terror attack in Jerusalem’s Old City. (Israel Police)

Halabi, 19, a student at Jerusalem’s Al Quds University and a member of Islamic Jihad, killed Nehemia Lavi and Aharon Banita in Jerusalem’s Old City in October. They were the first Israelis killed in a knife attack in an ongoing, six-month wave of Palestinian stabbing, car-ramming, and shooting attacks.

Since then, Halabi has enjoyed the status of a hero in Palestinian society, mainly in Ramallah.

His father, Shafiq, signed the purchase papers for the new house on Tuesday.

Part of the Israeli order to demolish the family’s old home in el Bireh forbade the family from rebuilding on the same site.

The victims of a fatal stabbing attack in Jerusalem on Saturday October 3, 2015: Nehemia Lavi, 41 (left) from Jerusalem, and Aharon Banita (Bennett), 22 (right) from Beitar Illit. (Courtesy)

The victims of a fatal stabbing attack in Jerusalem on Saturday October 3, 2015: Nehemia Lavi, 41 (left) from Jerusalem, and Aharon Banita (Bennett), 22 (right) from Beitar Illit. (Courtesy)

The new house, a two-story villa, is located in the Albasatin neighborhood of Abu Kash, a village near Ramallah. It is 360 square meters (3,875 square feet) in size, and sits on a 600-square-meter (6,460-square-foot) plot, which is registered in the name of the new owner. The purchase cost 124,000 Jordanian dinars (approximately NIS 661,000 or $173,300), of which 24,000 dinars (NIS 129,100 or $33,850) has already been paid.

timesofisrael

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