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Israeli forces carry out punitive demolition of family homes in West Bank

Jerusalem24 – Israeli forces carried out two punitive demolitions overnight and this morning of the family homes of Yahya Marei and Youssef A’assi in the village of Qarawa Bani Hassan near Salfit in the occupied West Bank.

Marei and A’assi are accused of carrying out a shooting attack in the settlement of Ariel in the occupied West Bank on 29 April, in which one Israeli guard was killed. They were arrested the next day in Qarawa Bani Hassan and indicted on 14 June on charges equivalent to murder and attempted murder.

On 7 May, A’assi’s and Marei’s families were informed that their homes were slated for demolition. The Israeli High Court of Justice rejected in early June appeals filed against the demolition on behalf of their families.

Israeli media reported the demolitions were postponed until after US President Biden’s visit to Israel on 13 July.

Israeli authorities announced yesterday that the punitive home demolition of Raed Khazem, who carried out a shooting attack in Tel Aviv on 7 April which killed three people, was approved after being similarly delayed due to Biden’s visit.

Numerous human rights organizations have stated that Israel’s use of punitive demolitions contravenes international law as it constitutes a form of collective punishment, in contravention of Hague regulations and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Between 1967 and 2014, at least 1,523 punitive home demolitions were carried out by Israeli forces in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza though the real number may be as high as 6,130.

Video footage of Marei’s family home being blown up this morning were widely shared on social media.

A’assi’s family home was demolished overnight using heavy demolition equipment.

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