Israel army demolishes West Bank home of Palestinian family

Israel army demolishes West Bank home of Palestinian family
Israel's policy of house demolitions has been branded as collective punishment that can leave innocent children homeless.
2 min read
All residents of the apartment blocks were forced to leave their homes [Getty images]

Israeli troops demolished the West Bank family home of a Palestinian on Tuesday who was killed after allegedly carrying out a deadly shooting in the heart of Tel Aviv in March.

"Forces of the army and the border police destroyed the home in the village of Nilin of the terrorist Mutaz Khawaja, who carried out a shooting attack on March 9, 2023 in Dizengoff Street, Tel Aviv," an Israeli army statement said.

Khawaja, 23, was a member of Hamas armed wing Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the Palestinian Islamist group that rules Gaza has said.

He was shot dead by Israeli police after the attack, which killing one Israeli and wounded two more.

Human rights groups view the policy as a form of collective punishment, part of Israel's illegal occupation of the West Bank.

His home village lies close to the Green Line which separates Israel from the occupied West Bank, and barely 20 kilometres (12 miles) from Tel Aviv.

Nilin mayor Yusef Khawaja said Israeli troops made all residents of the four-storey apartment block leave their homes before demolishing the shooter's first floor flat at dawn.

The army released video of troops setting explosive charges before blowing up the apartment.

Residents draped large portraits of Khawaja over the side of the building, commemorating him as a "martyr", an AFP photographer reported.

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Troops clashed with "rioters" during the operation, the army said. The mayor said three people were injured.

Israel, which has occupied the West Bank since 1967, routinely demolishes the homes of individuals it blames for attacks on Israelis. This is seen as a form of collective punishment and UN experts have described the policy as domicide.

So far this year, Israeli forces and settlers have killed 156 Palestinians, an average of more than one per day.