Israeli forces demolish occupied West Bank home of Palestinian who killed settler

Israeli forces demolish occupied West Bank home of Palestinian who killed settler
Israel routinely carries out the destruction of homes of Palestinians accused of attacking Israelis, in what rights groups have described as a 'collective punishment', illegal under international law.
2 min read
16 February, 2023
Mohammad Jaabari's home was destroyed by Israeli forces in Hebron, West Bank on Thursday [Getty]

Israeli forces on Thursday demolished the home of a Palestinian accused of being behind a shooting in the occupied West Bank that killed one Israeli.

The home belonged to Mohammad Jaabari, a 35-year-old school teacher, who was killed by Israeli forces last year and whose body was reportedly withheld from his family. Israeli forces also proceeded to "seal off" the city of Hebron with "dirt mounds", as well as raiding his home and arresting one of his brothers.

The military said the demolition was carried out after an Israeli court had rejected appeals to spare the residence. The home, in the routinely-targeted West Bank city of Hebron, was demolished in a controlled explosion. A flash and then grey tufts of smoke were seen emerging from the Palestinian man's apartment in the early morning hours.

Palestinians and rights groups say that home demolitions amount to collective punishment against the families of assailants and only exacerbate Palestinian suffering in the Israeli-occupied territories.  They are also considered illegal under international law. Israel, meanwhile, justifies the brutal tactic as a means to "deter future attackers".

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The Israeli man killed during the incident was identified as Ronen Hananiah, outside a convenience store in the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba in the West Bank in October that year.

The demolition comes amid fears of escalating violence in the West Bank and Israel, where at least 50 Palestinians have been killed this year by Israeli forces, mostly during near-nightly raids in the illegally occupied West Bank.

Israel's latest far-right government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rose to power at the end of last year, in what has been described as the most "extreme" in the country's history.  Palestinians have also expressed fears over intensified violence in the Palestinian territories, as plans to ramp up West Bank settlement building have already taken place.