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Israeli forces demolish family homes of two Palestinian suspects

Jerusalem24 – Israeli forces carried out two punitive demolitions at dawn this morning of the family homes of Sobhi Sbeihat and As’ad Al-Rifai in the village of Rumana near Jenin in the occupied West Bank.

Sbeihat and Al-Rifai are accused of carrying out an attack armed with an axe and knives in the city of Elad on 5 May in which three Israelis were killed.

The pair were apprehended after a three-day manhunt less than a kilometer from the scene, and were indicted in June on three counts of murder with aggravated circumstances in an act of terror, five counts of attempted murder in an act of terror, and entering Israel illegally.

A force of several dozen Israeli soldiers invaded the village of Rumana around midnight last night, flanked by heavy-duty military bulldozers, and proceeded with the demolitions.

On 26 July, Israeli forces carried out the punitive demolition of the family homes of Yahya Marei and Youssef A’assi in the village of Qarawa Bani Hassan near Salfit. 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.

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.

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