Israel demolishes homes of Palestinian attackers

#Occupation

Rights groups and Palestinians say policy punishes families for the actions of relatives

The remnants of one of the houses demolished on Thursday (Reuters)
MEE and agencies's picture
Last update: 
Thursday 10 August 2017 10:02 UTC
Topics: 

Israeli authorities have demolished three homes and sealed off a fourth of Palestinians who carried out attacks that killed a soldier and a policewoman, the army said on Thursday.

Israel regularly carries out such demolitions, which it says act as a deterrent, but human rights groups and Palestinians say they punish families for the actions of relatives.

Two houses were demolished in Deir Abu Mashaal, near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, and a third was sealed off, an army spokeswoman said.

Village mayor Emad Zahran told AFP Israeli soldiers entered the area around 2am with bulldozers.

On 16 June, three villagers carried out an attack outside Jerusalem's Old City that killed a policewoman.

According to police, two of the assailants opened fire at a group of officers who returned fire, and a third stabbed the border policewoman a short distance away before being shot.

Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attacks, however that was contradicted by both the Palestinian militant group Hamas and the People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) who both claimed the attackers were their members. All three attackers were killed.

A home in the West Bank town of Silwad was also demolished in response to an 6 April car-ramming attack near the Jewish settlement of Ofra that killed an Israeli soldier.

A wave of unrest that broke out in October 2015 has killed 293 Palestinians or Arab Israelis, 47 Israelis, two Americans, two Jordanians, an Eritrean, a Sudanese and a Briton, according to an AFP toll.

Israeli authorities say most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks.

Others were shot dead during protests or clashes, while some were killed in Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip.

The violence had greatly subsided but tensions remain high around al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

Israeli authorities recently restricted access to the mosque and installed metal detectors at the entrances to the site after two Israeli police officers were killed by three attackers at the holy-site on 16 July.

The new security measures angered Palestinians who felt Israeli was trying to change the status quo careful governing access to the site and led to weeks of violence.