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Israeli forces demolish home of slain Palestinian attacker in Bani Naim

Aug. 15, 2016 11:26 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 16, 2016 2:31 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces demolished early on Monday morning the family home of a Palestinian teen who was killed in June after stabbing a 13-year-old Israeli girl to death, in the latest instance of Israel’s much denounced policy of punitive home demolitions

Muhammad Nasser Tarayra, 17, a native of the southern occupied West Bank town of Bani Naim, was killed by a security guard on June 30 after carrying out a deadly attack against 13-year-old Hallel Yafa Ariel in the illegal Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba.

Before dawn on Monday, Israeli forces escorted by 30 military vehicles and a bulldozer stormed Bani Naim, east of the city of Hebron, forcing Tarayra’s family to exit their home at gunpoint, witnesses said.

Israeli soldiers then reportedly planted explosives near the interior walls of the first floor of the two-story building before detonating them.

A video shot by a reporter from Radio al-Khalil showed the aftermath of the explosion, with the interior of the home, and well as parts of the outer walls, visibly damaged.

Eyewitnesses said that Israeli forces detained many of neighboring residents during the excursion, releasing them only after the demolition was completed.

Clashes erupted in Bani Naim during the raid, with Israeli soldiers firing sound bombs and tear gas, causing multiple cases of suffocation among Palestinian residents.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the demolition of Tarayra’s family’s home “following a government directive,” although they had no further information on the raid.

At least 217 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis and some 32 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians since a wave of unrest first swept across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel in October.

The Hebron area in particular grew as the epicenter of upheaval, with Israeli authorities severely restricting the movement of Palestinians by sealing off towns and revoking work permits. At least 63 Palestinians from the Hebron district have been killed since October.

On Thursday, the Palestinian Ministry of Civil Affairs announced that Israeli authorities had lifted the blockade and eased security restrictions for Bani Naim residents, after more than a month of road closures and revocation of work permits.

Israel’s response to attacks -- such as punitive home demolitions, the sealing of entire villages, mass detention campaigns, and withholding the bodies of Palestinians slain while committing attacks -- has been condemned by rights groups, who have said the measures amount to “collective punishment” and “court-sanctioned revenge,” and represent a clear violation of international law.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fast-tracked punitive home demolitions in an effort to “deter” attacks carried out by Palestinian individuals in the wake of a wave of violence that has swept across the West Bank since October.

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.

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