Israeli troops demolish Palestinian homes in West Bank

Israel demolishes the homes of two people accused of carrying out a deadly attack in the occupied West Bank last year.

An Israeli security force member aims his weapon
The residences were razed early Tuesday [File: Ammar Awad/Reuters]

Israeli troops have demolished the homes of two Palestinians accused of carrying out a deadly shooting attack in the occupied West Bank last year, the military said.

The residences of Mohammed Jaradat and Jit Jaradat in the West Bank were demolished early on Tuesday, the military said.

Israel accuses the men of shooting at a car driving near the outpost of Homesh, killing a Jewish seminary student and wounding two others. The military said earlier the demolition took place late Monday.

During the demolition, the military said armed Palestinians fired at the troops, who fired back.

Israeli forces intervene Palestinians
The demolition came hours after a Palestinian stabbed two police officers in Jerusalem’s Old City [File: Mamoun Wazwaz/Anadolu Agency]

The military also said dozens of Palestinians threw rocks, firebombs and grenades at the troops who responded with live fire and other means.

According to Palestinian news agency Wafa, Israeli forces wounded eight people with live rounds and rubber-coated bullets.

Israeli officials say home demolitions deter future attacks, while rights groups view the tactic as a form of collective punishment.

The demolitions came hours after a Palestinian stabbed two police officers in Jerusalem’s Old City before he was shot and killed by police, the second such incident in as many days.

On Sunday, police killed a 19-year-old Palestinian after he stabbed an officer in the Old City. The officer was lightly wounded.

Palestinian and international rights groups have long condemned what they say is the excessive use of force by Israeli forces.

B’Tselem, an Israeli rights group, said it had recorded 77 Palestinian deaths at the hands of Israeli forces in the West Bank last year. More than half of those killed were not implicated in any attacks, it added.

Last month, Amnesty International said in a report that Israel was carrying out “the crime of apartheid against Palestinians” and must be held accountable for treating them as “an inferior racial group”.

Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem after the 1967 Middle East war.

Israeli settlements built on Palestinian land are considered illegal under international law. Today, between 600,000 and 750,000 Israeli settlers live in at least 250 settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies