Israeli forces demolish Hebron homes of kidnap suspects
Published Monday 18/08/2014 (updated) 20/08/2014 13:06
Israeli soldiers stand guard next to their vehicles on June 30, 2014
as they block the northern entrance of the village of Halhul, near the
West Bank town of Hebron, after the bodies of the three Israeli
teenagers were found (AFP Hazem Bader)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces overnight Sunday demolished the Hebron homes of two Palestinians named as suspects in the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers in June, locals said.
Israeli forces demolished the homes of Amir Abu Eisha and Husam al-Qawasmi and sealed off the home of Marwan Qawasmi by pumping concrete into the property.
Locals said large numbers of Israeli forces arrived first at the home of Abu Eisha in the Wadi al-Sir neighborhood and ordered the family to evacuate the home.
Army engineers then set explosives in the house and blew up the property, turning it into rubble.
Israeli soldiers then moved to the Abu Kteila neighborhood and destroyed the home of Husam al-Qawasmi.
Clashes broke out between locals and soldiers, with several Palestinians injured by rubber-coated steel bullets, including a journalist Radi Karamah.
The home of Marwan Qawasmi was sealed off by pumping large amounts of concrete into the house. Several mixer trucks were at the scene of the incident.
Israel accuses the three men of kidnapping and killing three Israeli teenagers near the illegal Gush Etzion settlement bloc in Hebron in early June.
Marwan Qawasmi was detained by Israeli forces in July. Israel accuses Qawasmi of ordering Abu Eisha and Husam al-Qawasmi to carry out the abduction.
Israeli rights group Hamoked had petitioned the Israeli high court to stop the demolitions, arguing that the measure would harm innocent people, including children, and constitutes collective punishment.
"The demolition of the terrorists' homes conveys a clear message to terrorists and their accomplices that there is a personal price to pay when engaging in terror and carrying out attacks against Israelis," Israeli army spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said.
Israel launched a widespread search and arrest campaign in the occupied West Bank following the kidnapping of the teenagers, targeting Hamas affiliates and infrastructure and detaining hundreds of people.
Israeli forces killed at least six Palestinians during the arrest raids.
Jewish extremists kidnapped and killed Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Khdeir in early July in a revenge attack.