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Israel razes home of Palestinian teen accused of killing settler

Demolition of 15-year-old’s house in Yatta comes after Israeli army besieged same village following shooting in Tel Aviv earlier this week

Israeli soldier keeps watch as Palestinians sit after the army entered Yatta earlier this week

Israel’s army demolished on Saturday the West Bank home of a Palestinian teenager accused of killing an Israeli settler earlier this year, a military spokesman said.

The demolition took place in Yatta, which is also the hometown of two Palestinian cousins who killed four Israelis in Tel Aviv on Wednesday in the deadliest attack in a months-long wave of violence.

The village, in the Hebron district of the West Bank where dozens of villages have been besieged since last October, is currently besieged after Israeli security forces closed off all of the entrances within 24 hours of the shooting in Tel Aviv, which also wounded 16.

Residents in the village told Middle East Eye on Friday that the siege was accompanied by night-time house raids and the detention of dozens of young men.

Yatta’s mayor said the blockade was one of the worst in the West Bank in months and had prevented school children from taking final exams.

Village resident Murad Ideis, 15, was arrested in January in a raid on his family’s home and charged with the murder of Dafna Meir, a 38-year-old nurse and mother of six.

Meir’s killing provoked fierce reaction among Israelis and prompted a personal vow from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the assailant’s house would be razed.

Israel regularly demolishes the homes of alleged attackers in what it describes as a deterrent. Rights groups say it amounts to collective punishment, with families forced to suffer for the acts of relatives.

Simon Reynolds, legal advocacy coordinator at Bethlehem-based Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, told MEE this week that the siege of Yatta may be prosecutable as a war crime.

“Israel’s application of sanctions against the entire population of Yatta in response to acts allegedly conducted by two residents is not only morally reprehensible, but also entirely unlawful,” Reynolds said.

“The prohibition on collective punishment is strict and unequivocal under international humanitarian law.”

MEE contacted an Israeli security forces spokesperson on Friday for a response to Reynolds’ comments but had not received any by the time of publication.

The army said Saturday’s demolition was carried out without incident, adding that it had also made preparations for the destruction of the homes of both of the Tel Aviv gunmen.

Violence since October has killed at least 207 Palestinians, 32 Israelis, two Americans, an Eritrean and a Sudanese.

(Source / 11.06.2016)

Tags: #ICC4Israel

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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