Israel destroys Palestinian home in West Bank

Sunday 05/06/2016
Part of collective punishment policy

BEIT AMRA (Palestinian Territories) - Israel's army destroyed on Saturday the home of a Palestinian teenager accused of stabbing a Jewish woman to death at her home in a West Bank settlement.

The demolition took place in the West Bank village of Beit Amra, with bulldozers flattening an entire building as family members looked on, according to a photographer.

The murder in January of Dafna Meir, a 38-year-old nurse and mother of six, provoked fierce reaction among Israelis and prompted a personal vow from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the assailant's house would be razed.

Israeli forces arrested 15-year-old Palestinian suspect Murad Ideis in a raid on his family home days after the attack.

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.

The army said Saturday's demolition was carried out without incident.

It also said it had made preparations for the destruction of the nearby homes of two Palestinians accused of shooting and killing four Israelis at a Tel Aviv nightspot on Wednesday in the deadliest attack in a months-long wave of violence.

Cousins Khaled Mohammad Makhamrah, 22, Mohammad Ahmad Makhamrah, 21, are both from the town of Yatta, around one kilometre (0.6 miles) east of Beit Amra.

Wednesday's attack, which also wounded five bystanders, has prompted a range of measures from Israel, including a decision to temporarily bar entry for all Palestinians.

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

Most of the Palestinians were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks, Israeli authorities say.

Others were killed in clashes with security forces or by Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip.