Israeli forces demolish home of slain Palestinian boy's family

Israeli forces demolish home of slain Palestinian boy's family
2 min read
20 April, 2016
Video: Home of 17-year-old Palestinian killed by Israeli fire after allegedly attacking an Israeli settler in the occupied West Bank in January was demolished during an overnight raid.
The home of a 17-year-old Palestinian who was shot and killed by Israeli forces in January has been destroyed, Israel said on Wednesday.

Israeli forces demolished the apartment belonging to Hussein Abu Ghosh's family in Qalandia, near Ramallah, during an overnight operation that left the inside walls completely destroyed.

The young Palestinian was shot dead in January after allegedly stabbing and killing an Israeli in Beit Horon, a Jewish-only settlement deemed contrary to international law build in the occupied West Bank.

Abu Ghosh's family left the apartment about a month ago, residents told AFP.

The demolition was the latest in such raids carried out by Israeli forces. Knocking down homes belonging to family members of a deceased "attacker", even if proven, amounts to an act of collective punishment, say analysts.

"The official objective of the house demolition policy is deterrence," said B'Tselem, an Israeli human rights group. "[It is] based on the assumption that harming the relatives of Palestinians who... are suspected of involvement in attacks would deter others from carrying out such attacks.

"Since this constitutes deliberate harm to innocents, it is clear that even if house demolition had the desired deterrent effect, it would, nevertheless, remain unlawful," the group added.

The demolition provoked clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians in the Qalandia refugee camp.

At least eight Palestinians were shot and wounded by Israeli forces during the clashes, the Bethlehem-based Ma'an News Agency added. Their condition remains unclear.

Israeli media reported that two officers sustained minor injuries during the raid.

In a separate incident, at least five Palestinian homes were demolished by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem earlier on Tuesday.

Israel claimed the structures were built without a permit, while residents said they were not given a chance to appeal before their homes were torn down.

Israeli forces seldom interfere in the construction of illegal Jewish settlements in occupied Palestinian territories.

Agencies contributed to this report.