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Israel demolishes homes of Palestinians alleged of attacks as a collective punishment

By Bao Yen - March 08, 2016
Section: [Main News]

On Tuesday morning, Israeli forces stormed Nimra neighborhood in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron and demolished a two-story house of the Skafi family, Ma'an News reported.

The now demolished ruins were home to Ibrahim Skafi, the 22-year-old Palestinian alleged of ramming his car into two Israeli soldiers on November 4, 2015 near the Halhul junction north of Hebron.

One of the two Israeli officers injured later died of his wounds. Ibrahim Skafi himself was shot dead on the scene.

The Skafi's family house is among many Palestinian homes razed by Israeli forces as a collective punishment for Palestinians suspected of committing attacks against Israelis.

According to B'Tselem, since the beginning of October 2015, there have been at least 31 homes destroyed or sealed by Israeli authorities as a punitive measure.

In the past, home demolition was carried out as a military order pursuant to Section 119 of Emergency Defense Regulations of 1945, that enabled a regional commander to demolish houses of residents of an area who commit security offenses.

Demolition order was to be given to the family, who was allowed to appeal to the military commander within forty-eight hours.

But up until recently, house demolitions have been carried out by Israeli forces as an "imperative military order". The majority of these demolitions took place without prior notice.

Following the series of unrest that began in October 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for expedition of legal process that deals with punitive demolitions, Haaretz reported.

In a statement released in early February, Palestinian Ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, appeals against Israel's practice of punitive demolitions that rendered many families, including children, homeless.

"Such violations can only provoke more rage towards the occupation and further inflame tensions and hatreds", Mansour says.

Home demolition is one among various methods that Israel has applied to collectively punish families of Palestinians convicted of committing security offenses, a practice contravening to international law.

Just earlier this month, the Israeli Prime Minister has asked Israel's attorney general to seek authorization to deport families of attackers from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip, with a hope that it will deter "terrorist acts" against Israel.



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