Israeli forces arrest five Palestinians after detonating two homes in Jenin

Israeli forces arrest five Palestinians after detonating two homes in Jenin
The apartments belong to the Jaradat family, two members of whom are accused of having killed an Israeli soldier in December.
3 min read
West Bank
09 March, 2022
The building was home to nine family members, including two elderly and three children. [Getty]

Israeli forces arrested five Palestinians, early on Wednesday, in a night raid on the northern West Bank city of Jenin and its surroundings, according to Palestinian local sources.

The raid took place amidst tensions in the area, following the demolition of a two-apartment building in the village of Silat Al-Harithiya, north of Jenin, earlier on Tuesday.

The demolished houses belong to the Jaradat family, two members of whom were arrested by Israeli forces in January. The Israeli army accuses Ghaith and Omar Jaradat of having carried out a shooting attack in December, south of Jenin, in which an Israeli settler was killed.

Israel has been adopting "punitive demolitions" since 1967 as a policy to target the families of those Palestinians who either attack or are accused of attacking Israeli forces and civilians.

The UN considers punitive demolitions as "a form of collective penalty prohibited under international humanitarian law (IHL) as they target the families of a perpetrator, or alleged perpetrator, who are not involved in the alleged act". 

Ibrahim Jaradat, a family member in his forties, told The New Arab that, for the past two months, the family had been trying to avoid the total demolition of the house.

“We filed a petition requesting the Israeli authorities to at least limit the demolition to a part of the house... , but it was rejected,” he said.

“Israeli authorities informed us two weeks ago that we should evacuate the houses, then Israeli forces came on Tuesday night and began to install explosives in the building”.

Palestinian media circulated a video of what was described as the explosion of the Jaradat family house in Silat Al-Harithiya.

“Nine people, including my elderly parents and three minors are now homeless,” he pointed out, “It is heart-breaking to see your life-time work being destroyed in a moment,” he added.

The Israeli army said in a tweet that its forces came under fire during the operation in Silat Al-Harithiya, before “completing their mission”.

The Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, said in a statement that its fighters had confronted Israeli troops in the village during the demolition.

During the raid, local journalists reported that a Palestinian vehicle had crashed against an Israeli military jeep in Silat Al-Harithiya. The Israeli police said in a tweet that two soldiers had been injured in the incident, which it suspected to be a car-ram attack, and that the Palestinian driver had been arrested.

“Residents of the village think it was most probably an accident,” said Ibrahim Jaradat. “It’s very improbable that the driver would have wanted to crash a small car into an armored jeep,” he added.

The northern West Bank has witnessed Israeli military raids in recent weeks, especially in the Jenin area. On Monday, Israeli forces killed two Palestinians during an incursion in the Jenin refugee camp.