Israel downplays Palestinian uprising, continues brutal crackdown anyway

Israel downplays Palestinian uprising, continues brutal crackdown anyway
Israeli forces pressed ahead an extensive campaign of home demolitions and arrests in the West Bank, as Israeli statistics claim that "Palestinian attacks" are decreasing.
3 min read
04 April, 2016
Israel has drasically escalated its campaign of home demolitions in the West Bank [Getty]
Israel bulldozed three houses belonging to Palestinians killed by Israelis in the town of Qabatiya, south of Jenin, in North West Bank.

The three men, Ahmad Zakarnah, Ahamd Abu al-Rub and Muhammad Kameel were accused of carrying out stabbing attacks in Jerusalem in February, resulting in the death of an Israeli security officer.

"Occupation forces stormed Qabatiya in the early morning hours with three bulldozers and dozens of military vehicles, and began to demolish the homes of three martyrs…they pulled out in the early morning after the completion of the demolition process," Mahmoud Kamil, the mayor of Qabatiya told The New Arab.

The demolition was carried out a week after an appeal was rejected not to demolish the homes.

During the demolition, clashes erupted between youths from the town and occupation forces, during which two men suffered injuries sustained from live ammunition.

Israel says home demolitions are an effective tool to deter attacks, but the UN has said that the practice amounts to collective punishment, illegal under international law.

Five homes were also demolished in other parts of the West Bank in Jerusalem, Nablus and Hebron on Monday after Israel said they were built without permits.

This follows a wave of extensive home demolitions carried out by Israeli security forces which have left more than 650 Palestinians homeless in under three months, more than half of whom were children. In 2016, around 370 Palestinian structures in the West Bank and 36 in East Jerusalem have been demolished.

In the village of Surif north of Hebron, Israeli forces tore down home belonging to local resident Azzam Mahmoud Gheimat, and lived in by his brother and family of six, according to Maan News.
In December there were 117 alleged attacks on Israeli security services compared to only eight in March.
Attacks 'declining'

According to Israeli statistics, attacks on Israeli security forces has said to be declining with 842 incidents of rioting recorded in October compared to 163 riots in March. In December there were 117 alleged attacks on Israeli security services compared to only eight in March.

Nonetheless, Israeli forces stormed the town of Issawiya, north of Jerusalem, on Sunday evening, during which a number of Palestinians were injured during clashes. Local sources in the town said that demolition notifications were handed to a number of residents.

Meanwhile, thirteen Palestinians were arrested in over-night raids across the West Bank, including Wisam Hussan Dawabsha, the brother of Riham Dawabsha who was killed along with her husband and 18-month-old son in a high-profile arson attack carried out by settlers last summer.

Since the uprising started in October, at least 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces in what many have dubbed to be "extrajudicial executions".