Jerusalem24 – The Israeli army blew up this morning in a punitive measure the two-story house of the family of Muntaser Shalabi, a detainee in Israel, according to local sources.
They said soldiers raided the village of Turmous Ayya, north of Ramallah, early this morning and proceeded to rig the Shalabi house with explosives before blowing it up turning it into rubble.
Several nearby houses in the dense residential area of the village were also damaged by the powerful explosions, but occupants of these houses were ordered to evacuate them before setting off the explosives.
Normally in dense areas, the army would use a bulldozer to demolish a house for any reason, but this time explosives were used, which was seen as a punitive measure not only for the Shalabi family, but also to his neighbors.
Witnesses said residents clashed with the soldiers during the raid and explosion of the house. The soldiers used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the youths without causing any injury.
Shalabi, 44, a US citizen, was detained in May and charged with killing an Israeli settler and wounding two others in a shooting attack near an Israeli army checkpoint north of Ramallah.
His family has appealed the demolition decision, but an Israeli court rejected the appeal on June 23 and upheld the demolition, prompting the family to evacuate the house in anticipation of the demolition at any time after that.
Since Shalabi is a US citizen, reports said the US government has asked Israel not to demolish his house.