Israel set to demolish home of Palestinian shooting suspect under controversial 'collective punishment' policy
The Israeli army on Thursday mapped out the West Bank home of a Palestinian man suspected of carrying out a drive-by shooting attack at a checkpoint south of Nablus, in preparation for its demolition.
The move follows a shooting at a bus station in Tapuah Junction, one of the major traffic arteries in the occupied West Bank, which left one dead.
Muntasir Shalabi, 47, is alleged to have opened fire against a group of Israeli teenagers studying at the nearby Itamar settlement, seriously injuring two of them and killing 19-year-old Yehuda Guetta.
Israeli army officers raided Shalabi’s house in Turmus Ayya on Thursday night in preparation for its potential future demolition, according to Israeli media outlet Haaretz.
Shalabi, a father-of-seven, was arrested on Wednesday and has not yet been tried under terrorism charges. Israeli authorities have often carried out punitive action, including home demolitions, prior to Palestinian suspects being convicted, according to Haaretz.
A number of human rights organisations have long denounced Israel's home razing policy as a form of collective punishment.
Family members of the accused, who reportedly holds a US passport, have rejected claims he participated in the attack.
Shalabi's son, aged 17, was also arrested, according to The Jerusalem Post, and his wife was taken into custody and subsequently released.
Dozens of Palestinians have been detained for allegedly assisting Shalabi with accommodation, according to reports.
The attack came amid increasing tensions in the West Bank. Tensions have flared in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, where dozens of Palestinians are at risk of being evicted following an Israeli court order.