Conflicts & War

Israeli forces destroy Palestinian prisoner’s home in West Bank

Jerusalem, Jun 22 (EFE).- The Israeli Army demolished the Nablus home of a Palestinian who allegedly killed an Israeli soldier in October last year, an IDF statement said on Thursday.

The demolition came at a time of escalating tensions in the occupied West Bank and amid a sharp spike in violence this week.

Kamal Jouri was arrested in February for allegedly fatally shooting an Israeli soldier in the West Bank in October 2022.

IDF reported that during the operation in Nablus, forces were attacked by Palestinians who hurled explosives and stones at them as well as scorched tires, to which soldiers responded with riot dispersal methods.

According to the official Palestinian news agency, Wafa, 165 people were treated for “suffocation as a result of the toxic gas fired by the soldiers,” one person was transferred to a hospital and another was injured after a tear gas canister struck his foot.

An ambulance was also directly hit by a gas bomb, causing damage to it, Wafa reported.

Last week, Israeli forces demolished the home of Osama Tawil, who also allegedly took part in the attack last October that killed Israeli soldier Ido Baruch during a settlers’ demonstration in the West Bank.

Jouri and Tawil have been in police detention since their arrest in February this year.

Israel regularly demolishes the homes of Palestinian families accused of committing deadly attacks.

Human Rights Watch has denounced the policy known as “collective punishment” as a war crime, but Israeli security forces defend the actions and say the policy acts as a deterrent to prevent further attacks.

Thursday’s demolition came just hours after Israel killed three Palestinian militants in a drone strike in the city of Jenin overnight, which was the first targeted airstrike in the occupied West Bank since 2005.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad identified two of the fighters killed as members of its armed wing in Jenin, while the third belonged to the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, another armed group operating in the area, a stronghold of Palestinian militias.

The Islamist Hamas movement, which rules the Gaza Strip and some of whose members are also involved in the armed uprising sweeping across the West Bank, described the Israeli attack as “a cowardly assassination” that will receive “a harsh and proportionate response.”

Israeli settlers also attacked several Palestinian villages in the West Bank territory on Wednesday, which resulted in the death of a Palestinian, multiple injuries and dozens of scorched homes and vehicles.

The attacks, which were carried out in different towns in the West Bank and were condemned by the Israeli authorities, came in response to a Palestinian attack carried out on Tuesday that ended with four settlers killed in the Eli settlement.

Intense fighting raged on Monday during a nine-hour raid in Jenin.

The Israeli army used a combat helicopter and conducted an air strike in the West Bank for the first time since 2005 killing seven Palestinians and wounding 90. Eight Israeli soldiers were injured during the raid.

This year has been the deadliest in the Palestine-Israel conflict since the Second Intifada from 2000 to 2005.

So far, 136 Palestinians have been killed in violent incidents in the West Bank and Israel this year.

Many of the victims were Palestinian militants but civilians — including 23 minors — have also died in violent clashes with Israeli troops as fighting in the region has intensified.

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