Shadi Ahmed Matua, the terrorist responsible for the murder of a rabbi and his son last Friday, was turned in to Israeli authorities by his own father and brother in an attempt to prevent their house from being demolished in accordance with Israeli counter-terror policies, the IDF revealed on Sunday.
Matua, a 28-year-old father of two from Hebron and a Palestinian Jihad operative, was detained in his family’s home and confessed his involvement in Friday’s attack.
The shooting killed Rabbi Ya’akov Litman and his 18-year-old son Netanel while they were driving near the West Bank settlement of Otniel on the way to the wedding of Litman’s eldest daughter. The other passengers in the car included Litman’s wife, a 16-year-old boy, and three young girls aged 11, 9, and 5, all of whom were lightly wounded.
Shadi Matua confessed to his brother Majidi that he had carried out the shooting, the IDF said in a statement emailed to reporters. Majidi then told their father. The two then turned Matua in for fear of having their home razed.
Israel’s policy of demolishing the family homes of terrorists has been vociferously condemned by human rights organizations – both in Israel and abroad – as a form of collective punishment. The Israeli government has defended the policy as a deterrent against terror attacks. After a decade-long hiatus, it has resumed house demolitions in response to a recent wave of violence.
On Sunday, a satirical tweet from Yair Sherki, a reporter for Israel’s Channel 2, made the rounds on Facebook.
The tweet began with a quote: “Demolitions of terrorists’ home are ineffective.” This was followed by a clip from Channel 2’s breaking news report that “the father and son of the terrorist gave him up for fear of losing their home.”