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'Collective punishment' used against Jerusalem attacker’s family: Rights group

Houses belonging to al-Qunbar’s family have been scheduled for demolition, and some may have their Israeli residency revoked
Palestinian boys look at a poster of 28-year-old Palestinian Fadi al-Qunbar at his family home in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Jabal Mukaber on 9 January, 2017 (AFP)

An Israeli human rights organisation has accused authorities of adopting a series of punitive measures against the family of the Palestinian behind a recent attack in Jerusalem.

Fadi al-Qunbar on Sunday rammed a lorry into a group of Israeli soldiers near the Old City, killing four soldiers and injuring 15 others.

A press release from B’tselem said that on 10 January, “inspectors taped warning notices to the doors of some forty homes, stating that they were built without permits and that administrative proceedings to demolish them had been instigated.

“These structures all belong to the extended al-Qunbar family or are located near the home of the perpetrator of the ramming attack.

“While in the neighbourhood, the police and inspectors measured Fadi al-Qunbar’s home, apparently as a preparatory step prior to issuing a punitive demolition order.”

The day before, according to the statement, “a large detachment of police arrived at the al-Qunabar family home and tore down the mourners’ tent they had erected.

“Police also restricted passage in and out of the neighbourhood by closing off its western entrance (al-Madares St.), and it is still closed at this time.”

“Several members of the extended al-Qunbar family were summoned to appear at a hearing on Wednesday at Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority prior to revocation of their status as Israeli residents,” the rights group added.

B’tselem said: “Such measures constitute collective punishment targeting individuals who are not charged with any wrongdoing.

“There can be no possible justification for these vindictive steps.”

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