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Israeli forces 'blow up homes' of Palestinian suspects

July 1, 2014 10:43 A.M. (Updated: July 1, 2014 3:59 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces in Hebron late Monday blew up the homes of two Palestinians Israel says are prime suspects in the kidnapping and killing of three teens who were found dead earlier that evening, witnesses said.

The two houses, which are both located in the same neighborhood in northwest Hebron, belong to the families of Marwan al-Qawasmeh, 29, and Amer Abu Eisha, 33.

After Israeli forces in Halhul north of Hebron found three bodies presumed to be those of three Israeli teens who went missing on June 12, soldiers surrounded the houses, forcibly removed the families, and declared the area a closed military zone, locals said.

Witnesses said the homes were then blown up by explosives.

Locals had told Ma'an earlier that soldiers were preparing to demolish the homes.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said that the homes "were not demolished," but said Israeli forces searched the houses late Monday.

Military sources told Ma'an that soldiers used explosives to break down the doors of the houses, and that a fire caused by the one of the explosions "got a little out of control."

Video footage, not independently verified by Ma'an, emerged showing an explosion in the Abu Eisha home as Israeli forces were stationed nearby.

Meanwhile, Palestinians clashed with Israeli forces, hurling empty bottles and stones at soldiers, who fired tear gas and stun grenades, locals said.

Entrances to Halhul and Hebron were shut down, witnesses added.

Israeli forces have killed six Palestinians in the West Bank military operation that followed the disappearance of three Israeli teenagers from the Gush Etzion settlement on June 12.

The Israeli army said on Thursday that it was still searching for Abu Eisha and al-Qawasmeh.

Abu Eisha's family has denied the allegations.
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