Clashes erupt as Israel demolishes Palestinian home in East Jerusalem

Friday 27/11/2015
Israel turns deaf ear to international criticism

JERUSALEM - Israel on Wednesday demolished the home of a Palestinian who carried out a deadly car-ramming attack last year, sparking clashes in the east Jerusalem neighbourhood where the operation occurred.

The Palestinian Red Crescent reported a number of injuries without providing details.

Hundreds of Israeli soldiers and police had deployed in the Shuafat refugee camp in east Jerusalem ahead of the demolition and police later distributed an aerial photo of smoke rising above the building.

Such demolitions, heavily criticised by rights groups, have regularly resulted in clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians.

Israel has stepped up demolitions as it seeks to halt a wave of knife, gun and car-ramming attacks that began in October.

The home was the residence of Ibrahim al-Akari, who carried out a car-ramming attack on November 5, 2014, killing two people, including a border police officer, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said.

The 38-year-old drove his van into a group of police officers before ramming into pedestrians at a tram stop along a road separating east and west Jerusalem.

He then jumped out of his vehicle and attacked bystanders with an iron bar before being shot dead by police.

Israel says such demolitions act as a deterrent to potential attackers, while rights groups and Palestinians say it amounts to collective punishment, forcing family members to suffer for acts committed by someone else.