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Israeli forces prepare to demolish homes of 2 alleged attackers

Nov. 29, 2015 11:53 A.M. (Updated: Nov. 29, 2015 1:04 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces raided the homes of two Palestinians who were shot dead after allegedly carrying out two separate vehicular attacks, injuring a total of seven Israeli soldiers on Friday, local sources and an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an.

Local sources said Israeli forces raided the homes of Omar Arafat Issa al-Zaaqiq, 19, and Fadi Muhammad Mahmoud Khasib, 25, and measured the dimensions of both family homes in preparation for punitive demolitions.

An Israeli army spokesperson said "overnight Saturday [Israeli] forces entered the villages of Ein Misbah and Beit Ummar in order to asses the localities of the residences of the two assailants from Friday's attacks," adding that "the estimates took place in preparation for the potential demolitions of the structures."

During the demolition preparations in Beit Ummar for the family home of al-Zaaqiq, Israeli forces also raided several other homes and detained at least two teenagers from the village.

Al-Zaaqiq was shot dead after injuring five Israeli soldiers in Beit Ummar during a car ramming attack. Four of the soldiers were moderately injured, and one lightly.

Hours before the attack, Khasib was shot dead by Israeli forces after allegedly running over two Israeli soldiers in a vehicular attack east of Jerusalem near the illegal Israeli settlement of Kfar Adumim.

Locals said Israeli forces raided the family home of Khasib in Ein Mesbah in the occupied West Bank district of Ramallah, destroyed the doors of home and measured it in preparation for the demolition.

Clashes broke out between Israeli forces in the village and Palestinian youth who threw stones at the forces. Israeli forces reportedly responded with live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas.

Punitive home demolitions

The swift demolition order on the two homes marks the latest use of the punitive measure by Israeli authorities.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expedited punitive home demolitions last month, in a supposed attempt to deter future attacks against Israelis.

The move came despite past recommendations by an Israeli military committee that the practice did not deter attacks.

While families who receive demolition orders are given the opportunity to appeal the measures, Israel’s High Court of Justice typically rejects such appeals, according to Israeli watchdog Hamoked.

Israeli rights group B’Tselem meanwhile condemned the practice last month as “court sanctioned revenge” carried out on family members who have not committed crimes, amounting to collective punishment.

In addition home demolitions, punitive measures including withholding the bodies of Palestinians involved in attacks, arbitrary detention of family members, and closure of neighborhoods have also been implemented against Palestinian communities.
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