Israeli soldiers mark six Palestinian family homes for demolition, as clashes erupt near Jenin

Israeli soldiers mark six Palestinian family homes for demolition, as clashes erupt near Jenin
Israel regularly demolishes Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank.
3 min read
West Bank
20 December, 2021
Six homes were marked for demolition [Getty-file photo]

Israeli forces raided the northern West Bank town of Sileh Harethiyeeh near Jenin, on Sunday night, clashing with armed Palestinians and handing six Palestinian families demolition orders for their homes.

Israeli soldiers at dawn stormed Sileh Harethiyeh and arrested four Palestinians including two brothers, accused of carrying out a shooting between Nablus and Jenin on Thursday which left one Israeli settler dead and two others injured.

The Israeli troops took measurements of the family homes of those detained to prepare them for demolition, an act regularly carried out by Israeli forces and described as "collective punishment" by human rights groups.

Local journalist Mohammad Atiq told The New Arab that the Israeli forces entered the town at around midnight and headed for the homes of the Palestinians.

"As soon as the Israeli troops were inside the town's streets, armed Palestinians opened fire and threw local-made explosives at them, to which the Israeli forces responded with live-fire," Atiq said.

Clashes continued through the night, he said.

"Israeli forces opening fire at anything that moved near them, including me, despite wearing a vest marked 'Press' and holding a camera. The bullets struck a wall right behind me," he added.

Israeli forces withdrew from the town at around 6 am without any reports of casualties on either side.

The families whose houses were measured for demolition "were left in a state of confusion", according to Asadallah Jaradat, the brother of two of the arrested Palestinians, Ghaith and Omar Jaradat.

"The Israeli soldiers entered the house and forced all of us into one room, 15 people including seven children, because my sister was visiting us, Jaradat said.

"The soldiers began to drill holes in the walls and examine the plans of the house on a laptop... [they] took the measurements of our parent's home on the first floor, Omar's family home on the second floor, and my family home on the top floor," Asadallah told The New Arab.

"My parents built the first floor 30-years-ago when they were just married and worked hard to improve it over the years. Then me and my brothers built on top of it as we began to form our own families.

"We are confused because we don't know where we will go now. We would probably go to some relatives' houses in neighbouring towns, and neighbours told us we can use their houses as well."

Israeli forces use home demolitions as a policy against the families of Palestinians it accuses of attacking Israelis. The policy has been condemned by UN experts and human rights groups.

The occupied northern West Bank has witnessed a rise in Palestinian armed militancy against Israeli forces.