Israel's army destroys home of Palestinian accused of being involved in attack in the West Bank

Published 30.08.2016 20:59
Updated 30.08.2016 21:03
Israel routinely demolishes homes of Palestinian assailants in what it says is a means to deter further attacks (AFP Photo)
Israel routinely demolishes homes of Palestinian assailants in what it says is a means to deter further attacks (AFP Photo)

Israel's military overnight destroyed the home of a Palestinian accused of involvement in an attack in the occupied West Bank that led to the death of a rabbi, it said Tuesday.

The army said it destroyed the home of Mohammed Abed Almajid Mohammed El-Amaira, 38, in Dura, southwest of the West Bank city of Hebron.

Amaira, a member of the Palestinian Authority security services, was arrested several weeks ago, accused of having helped plan and carry out a shooting attack on July 1, when gunmen opened fire on a car near Hebron.

The car crashed, killing rabbi Michael Mark, who led a religious school in the Israeli settlement of Otniel, and wounding two family members, according to the army.

Amaira is accused of having acted as the driver in the attack.

Another Palestinian accused over the attack, Mohamed Fakih, 29, was killed during a raid in July that saw Israeli forces fire anti-tank missiles at a house in the West Bank village of Surif.

Israel regularly destroys the homes of Palestinians accused of attacks as part of efforts "to deter future violence".

Palestinians and human rights activists say the policy amounts to collective punishment, forcing families to suffer for the acts of others.

The Israeli army also frequently carries out sweeping arrest campaigns in the occupied territories that ostensibly target Palestinians who are "wanted" by the Israeli occupation authorities.

Over 7,000 Palestinians are currently languishing in prisons throughout the Jewish state, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs.

Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war. As part of interim peace deals in the 1990s, the West Bank was carved up into autonomous Palestinian areas — A and B — and Area C, which is home to nearly 400,000 Israeli settlers.

The Palestinians seek all of the territories captured by Israel in 1967 for a future independent state. They say that Area C, home to an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 Palestinians, is crucial to a future Palestine's economic development

The last round of U.S.-brokered peace talks broke down two years ago without any progress. In the meantime, Israel continued to expand settlements while limiting Palestinian development, according to Palestinian and international critics of Israeli policy.

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