Israel troops demolish Palestinian home in West Bank

Published : 24 Jan 2024 08:49 PM

Israeli troops on Wednesday blew up the home of a Palestinian accused of assisting in the killing of four Israelis near a settlement in the occupied West Bank in June, witnesses said.

Basil Shehadeh was arrested on suspicion of helping two other Palestinians carry out the deadly shooting at a petrol station near Eli settlement in the northern West Bank.

The attackers, Muhannad Shehadeh and Khaled Sabah, were killed by Israeli forces while their alleged accomplice was arrested.

Troops stormed the village of Orif overnight and surrounded Basil Shehadeh's house, witnesses said.

"The family were evacuated from the three-storey building, then the second floor of the building was blown up," village council secretary Adel al-Amer told AFP.

The Israeli military did not immediately comment and asked AFP to provide the precise coordinates of where the demolition took place.

Israel routinely demolishes the homes of Palestinians accused of carrying out attacks, arguing that such measures act as a deterrent while critics say it amounts to collective punishment.

The shooting near Eli settlement was carried out on June 20 last year, a day after Israeli forces launched a deadly raid on the northern West Bank city of Jenin.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since the Six-Day War of 1967.

Excluding annexed east Jerusalem, the territory is now home to around 490,000 Israelis who live in settlements considered illegal under international law.

Violence has flared in the West Bank since the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas militants triggered war in Gaza. More than 360 people have been killed by Israeli troops and settlers, according to the Palestinian health ministry in Ramallah.