Israel demolishes homes of two alleged Palestinian attackers

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military on Thursday said its forces demolished the homes of two Palestinians accused of being behind a deadly blast in the West Bank last year.

Israel said Walid Hanatsheh and Yazan Mughamis were part of a cell that carried out the attack last August, which killed 17-year-old Israeli Rina Shnerb and injured her father and brother as they hiked down to a spring in the occupied West Bank.

Hanatsheh and Mughamis, along with other alleged members of the cell, are currently facing trial in an Israeli court.

Bulldozers tore down one home in the West Bank city of Bir Zeit. At the second home in the city of Ramallah, soldiers used jackhammers to destroy the interior walls of the apartment.

During the operation on Thursday, the military said dozens of Palestinians burned tyres and threw stones and Molotov cocktails at the Israeli forces. It said its forces responded with “riot dispersal means”, which usually means tear gas and stun grenades.

Israel said demolishing the family homes of alleged militants deters violence. Critics said the tactic amounts to collective punishment.

A Palestinian inspects family apartment of Yazan Mughamis demolished by the Israeli army, in the West Bank city of Ramallah. PHOTO: AP