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Israeli forces target families of suspected Palestinian attackers

July 7, 2015 6:38 P.M. (Updated: July 7, 2015 7:34 P.M.)
Israeli police stand guard near the Abu Jamal residence in East Jerusalem on November 18, 2014. (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli )
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- For the second time this week Israeli forces raided homes in occupied East Jerusalem belonging to the families of two Palestinians who were killed in separate incidents by Israeli forces last year, witnesses said.

Israeli forces raided the home of Ghassan Abu Jamal in the Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood, examining the floors and walls before leaving without explanation, the family told Ma'an.

The forces broke into the home one day prior, photographing inside and outside the house as well as the roads leading up to it. The Abu Jamal family said that Israeli forces also took pictures of family members.

The home of Mutaz Hijazi in the al-Thuri neighborhood of Silwan was also raided for the second day in a row Tuesday by Israeli forces who reportedly took measurements of Mutaz's room.

Separately, Israeli forces raided a house belonging to Muhammad al-Issawi in the Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood and searched the family's cars, without giving a reason.

Members of the al-Issawi family said that Israeli forces deliberately destroyed furniture and other belongings in the house during the raid.

Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld told Ma'an he wasn't aware of any homes that were searched in East Jerusalem.

Tuesday's raids come as Israeli authorities continue to target the families of suspected attackers Mutaz Hijazi and Ghassan Abu Jamal.

In June, Uday Hijazi told Ma’an that the Israeli High Court ordered the permanent closure of the bedroom of his brother Mutaz, who was shot dead by undercover Israeli officers on suspicion that he shot and critically wounded activist Yehuda Glick in October 2014.

The homes of Ghassan Abu Jamal and his cousin Uday Abu Jamal were slated for demolition after the two killed four rabbis and a policeman last year in the Har Nov Synagogue before they were shot dead at the scene.

Their families appealed the decision, but the appeals were later rejected.

Last week Uday Abu Jamal's family home was also stormed by Israeli forces, who sealed it off with steel boards.

In addition to the threat of home demolition, Israeli authorities also revoked the Jerusalem residency rights of Ghassan Abu Jamal’s wife, ordering her to move to the West Bank. Their children have been allowed to remain in East Jerusalem but have been denied social benefits.

Israel stopped punitive house demolitions in 2009 but resumed the practice last November when Israeli forces razed the house of a Palestinian man that killed two Israelis by running over them with his car last October.

Rights groups have widely criticized the Israeli policy of home demolitions, previously focused on the West Bank and Gaza, saying that it contributes to a cycle of violence and merely inflicts collective punishment on family members.

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