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Israeli forces raid Yatta, take measurements of suspected attacker's house

June 17, 2016 10:08 A.M. (Updated: June 23, 2016 4:31 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) --Israeli forces early Friday raided the town of Yatta in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, which has been sealed by the Israeli army since last week’s attack in Tel Aviv.

Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided the town and took measurements of Muhammad Moussa Makhamreh’s home, the father of suspected attacker Khalid Makhamreh, in preparations for a punitive home demolition expected to be carried out on Monday.

Muhammad was officially informed on Wednesday that his home would be destroyed early next week, in line with an Israeli policy of punitive house demolitions which has been denounced by human rights groups as constituting “court-sanctioned revenge.”

According to locals, clashes erupted after Palestinian youths threw rocks at the Israeli soldiers who then responded by shooting rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas bombs at the community.

Several Palestinians reported suffering tear gas inhalation during the clashes.

Separately, Israeli forces raided Tarqumiya in southern Hebron and detained a former prisoner; Samer al-Masri, after raiding and searching his house, locals said.

Israeli authorities scheduled an upcoming court session on June 22 for Khalid Makhamreh. He was reportedly transferred from the Ichilov hospital in Tel Aviv to the al-Ramla prison clinic on Wednesday for treatment for injuries he sustained during the shooting.

Meanwhile, the town of Yatta has been under an Israeli-imposed closure for more than a week following news that the two suspected shooters in an attack in Tel Aviv that left four Israelis killed and at least a dozen more injured were from the town.

Israeli forces have carried out nightly search and detention raids on the entire community, leading to several Palestinians being detained by Israeli authorities.

The family of Muhammad Makhamreh -- Khalid's cousin and the other suspected gunman -- was reportedly informed last week by Israeli authorities their house could be destroyed at any moment, and have since began moving their belongings.

Israel’s punitive policies against Palestinians are often the target of condemnation among rights groups around the world, who point out that such punitive measures constitute a form of “collective punishment” and represent a clear violation of international law.
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