Israel Decides Not to Destroy Home of Mentally Ill Palestinian Killer

Abed al-Rahman stabbed an Israeli settler to death in Jerusalem’s Old City last March

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Israeli police officers at the entrance of the Temple Mount following a stabbing attack in the Old City, March 18, 2018.
Israeli police officers at the entrance of the Temple Mount following a stabbing attack in the Old City, March 18, 2018.Credit: Nir Hasson
Yotam Berger
Yotam Berger

The house of a mentally ill Palestinian who fatally stabbed an Israeli man in March will not be demolished as previously planned, IDF and Justice Ministry officials decided on Wednesday.

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The victim, Adiel Kolman, of the West Bank settlement of Kochav Hashahar, was working in Jerusalem’s Old City when he was attacked. He died a few hours after being brought in critical condition to Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

Authorities decided not to demolish the house of assailant Abed al-Rahman, who was killed by security forces on the scene of the attack, after his lawyers proved that he was mentally unsound. Medical documents showed that he was treated for a mental disease both in the West Bank and in Jordan.

The Justice Ministry and Military Advocate General have refrained from tearing down the Palestinian family’s home so far, fearing they would have difficulty defending such a move in the High Court of Justice should a petition be submitted against the demolition.

Two officials familiar with the meetings’ details confirmed that the decision not to tear the house down was based on the assailant’s mental illness. The IDF spokesman also confirmed the details.

The spokesman said the “terrorist’s family was notified of the plan to demolish the house and filed an objection.” The family claimed he suffered from a mental disease and submitted medical documents attesting to his condition. Accordingly it was decided to accept the objection, the spokesman said.

Abed al-Rahman, of Aqraba near Nablus, was a father of two without a record of terrorist activity. He had a permit to work in Israel, despite his mental condition, which was discovered in retrospect.

He was not part of any organization, but a number of his family relatives were affiliated with Hamas.