Shalabi killed Guetta, 19, and wounded two other people when he carried out a drive-by shooting on a group of Israeli teenagers at the Tapuach junction in Samaria, also known as the West Bank. He owns a large mansion near Ramallah.
As Breitbart News reported: “Shalabi, who was arrested three days after the attack after a manhunt tracked him down at a hideout in the Palestinian village of Silwad, was charged with intentional homicide, three counts of attempted homicide, using and possessing an unlicensed weapon, and obstruction of justice.”
The Jerusalem Post, citing a local left-wing organization in Israel, reported that three of Shalabi's children live in the mansion, and another four live in the U.S.
Israel has a policy of demolishing the homes of terrorists as a means of deterring those who are otherwise praised — and subsidized by — the Palestinian Authority leadership, as well as by radical Islamic clerics, for their violent actions. The policy is controversial, however, with some international human rights groups condemning it as a form of collective punishment, since family members who may have nothing to do with terrorism could suffer from losing their home.
The U.S. condemned Israel's demolition of the Shalabi mansion, which was carried out despite the fact that a bipartisan group of members of Congress was visiting the region at the time. “The home of an entire family should not be demolished for the actions of one individual,” the U.S. embassy said in a statement. New Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett defended the policy, saying that while “the Prime Minister appreciates and respects the US,” he “acts solely in accordance with security considerations of the State of Israel and the need for protection of the lives of Israeli citizens.”
The Guetta family was less diplomatic, according to the Times of Israel, condemning the Biden administration for siding with a terrorist over innocent civilians, and vowing to sue the Shalabi family to seize its assets in Israel and the U.S.:
Meanwhile, Guetta's family has slammed the Biden administration over its statement, and said it would file lawsuits in Israel and in the US demanding that Shalabi's assets be seized, including the land where his home had stood.
Guetta's father, Elisha, said the family was “shocked that the US is condemning the demolition of [the home of] my son's murderer and is supporting a terrorist who arrived from the US to carry out a vicious shooting terror attack against innocent Jewish students.
“It would be expected that the US, which has often been the victim of terrorism, would stand with terror victims rather than with their murderers,” he added.
Explaining the lawsuit, Elisha Guetta added: “The Americans' approach forces us to search for every way to prevent the next murder. And if that is done by seizing his land, that's what we'll do.”
The Guetta family is being represented by Shurat HaDin, an Israeli organization that represents victims of terror.
The disagreement over the demolition of Shalabi's home is the first major dispute between the new Israeli government and the Biden administration. Previously, the Biden administration had criticized the former government of Benjamin Netanyahu over its response to riots by Palestinians on the Temple Mount, which were backed by the Palestinian terrorist group, Hamas.
Biden has restored hundreds of millions of dollars of funding to the Palestinians despite support for terror.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new e-book, The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it). His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.