Israeli Forces Demolish Palestinian House, Injure Five Palestinians in Jenin Town Raid

JENIN, July 18, 2016 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Monday punitively demolished a Palestinian house during a predawn raid, sparking violent clashes and shooting and injuring five Palestinians in Qabatiya town, south of Jenin, in the northern West Bank.

WAFA correspondent said escorted by armed Israeli forces, bulldozers stormed the Jenin town of Qabatiya and punitively demolished the house of Bilal Abu Zeid, who is detained purportedly for transferring three Palestinian attackers to Jerusalem in February.

Abu Zeid was accused of transferring Ahmed Zakarneh, Muhammad Kamil and Najeh Abu al-Rub from the Jenin town of Qabatiya to Jerusalem. The three men were all killed by Israeli police after they fatally wounded an Israeli police officer and injured another in a gun and knife attack outside Damascus Gate entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City.

The three dailies reported that three Palestinians from the Jenin town of Qabatiya were shot dead after they carried out a stabbing and gun attack that claimed the life of 19-year-old Hadar Cohen and wounded another police officer in Jerusalem.

WAFA reported Abu Zeid’s father, Ahmad, saying Israeli forces cordoned his son’s 100-meter-square-house and punitively demolished it before they withdrew four hours later.

He added that he had received an order from Israeli military notifying him of the demolition 10 days before the demolition date.

Five young men were shot and injured by live ammunition during clashes that broke out with Israeli troops, with one who sustained a serious injury.

The young men were identified as Abdul-Rahman Abu al-Rub, 20, who was shot in the chest and remains in a serious condition, Rami Zakarneh, 28, who was shot in his shoulder, Anwar Kamil, 17, who was shot in the leg, Bilal Abu Zeid, 16, who was shot in the waist, and a fifth young man, who remained unidentified.

Meanwhile, Deputy Governor of Jenin, Kamal Abu al-Rub, slammed the demolition as a “criminal act” and a “consolidation of Israel’s policy of terrorism and occupation.”

He called upon the international community and international human rights organizations to intervene in order to bring Israeli policy of “terrorism” against the Palestinian people to a halt.

Israel resorts to punitively demolish the family homes of any Palestinians – as means of deterrence – accused of being involved in attacks against Israelis, a policy that Israel does not use against Israeli settlers who are involved in fatal attacks against Palestinians.

B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group, says: “The people who bear the brunt of the [punitive] demolitions are relatives – including women, the elderly, and children – whom Israel does not suspect of involvement in any offense.”

“In the vast majority of cases, the person whose actions prompted the demolition was not even living in the house at the time of the demolition,” adds the group.

“The official objective of the house demolition policy is deterrence … yet the deterrent effect of house demolitions has never been proven.”

It said that, “Since this constitutes deliberate harm to innocents, it is clear that even if house demolition had the desired deterrent effect, it would, nevertheless, remain unlawful.”