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Palestinian family served punitive demolition order by Israeli army

July 12, 2017 12:36 P.M. (Updated: July 12, 2017 8:39 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli army delivered a punitive demolition order to a Palestinian family in the village of Deir Abu Meshaal in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah in a predawn military raid Wednesday, in the wake of a deadly attack in front of Jerusalem's Old City last month in which three Palestinians assailants were shot dead and an Israeli border police officer was killed.

Last week, the Israeli army already delivered demolition warrants for the homes belonging to the families of two of the slain Palestinians, and for unknown reasons, the third family was not notified that their house would be demolished until Wednesday's raid.

The Israeli army said in statement that the family was given 72 hours to appeal the demolition order.

A copy of one of the warrant's delivered earlier this month confirmed that the family of 18-year-old Baraa Ibrahim Saleh was ordered to be demolished. It remained unclear which family -- that of Adel Hassan Ankosh, 18, or Osama Ahmad Atta, 19 -- also received a warrant that day and which received it on Wednesday.

Immediately following the June 16 attack, Israeli authorities took measurements of the homes in preparation for the demolitions.

According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, a total of 22 people will be left homeless once they are carried out, none of whom who have been charged with any wrongdoing.

The delivery of the warrants came after the families and the wider communities of Deir Abu Mashaal have already been subjected to a series of reprisal measures that are routine following deadly attacks, which have been denounced by rights groups as “collective punishment.”

Four Palestinians were detained over the June 16 attack in Jerusalem, including both the mother and father of Adel Ankoush, after speaking out about the death of their child and being accused of “incitement.”

His mother Zeinab has since been released on a $1,700 bail and on the condition that a third party sign a $5,660 bond to guarantee that she attend future court sessions.
Additionally, a Jerusalemite Palestinian was detained, over suspicions of transporting the three Palestinians from the occupied West Bank to Jerusalem, and another man from the Ramallah area was also detained for alleged involvement in planning the attack.

Israeli police said that charges against the two are expected to be filed later on Wednesday.

Israeli authorities have continued to implement restrictive policies on Palestinians in Deir Abu Mashaal, Israeli NGO B'Tselem reported, after it was placed under a military blocked immediately following the attack.

This automatic form of retaliation has become a matter of policy for the military, in a cynical abuse of its power to mistreat civilians,” B’Tselem said.

Family members of the alleged assailants had their Israeli work permits revoked, including 50 who were dependent on work inside Israel. Some 250,000 Palestinians who had received family visitation permits to enter Jerusalem and Israel during Ramadan also saw their permits revoked following the attack.

The bodies of the three alleged assailants have continued to be held by Israeli authorities, as Israel is known to withhold Palestinian bodies from their families for extended periods of time after they have carried out an attack, alleging that funerals of “martyrs” -- Palestinians killed by Israeli forces -- encourage “incitement” against the Israeli state.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fast-tracked punitive home demolitions in an effort to “deter” attacks carried out by Palestinian individuals since the beginning of a wave of violence across the occupied Palestinian territory in late 2015.

The move came despite past recommendations by an Israeli military committee that the practice did not deter attacks. B’Tselem has condemned the practice of punitive home demolitions and work permit confiscations as "court-sanctioned revenge" carried out on family members who have not committed crimes, amounting to collective punishment.
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