Israel to demolish Palestinian attacker’s house

JERUSALEM (HPD) — The Israeli army prepared the family home of a Palestinian attacker for demolition on Sunday, a day after he killed an Israeli man near an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

Several people were also injured in the Saturday night shooting.

Security camera video showed the gunman firing his assault rifle outside a grocery store before a security guard rammed his truck into him, pinning him to the ground. An off-duty military officer opened fire, killing the assailant, later identified as 35-year-old Mohammed Jaaberi.

The attack took place between Hebron, the largest Palestinian city in the West Bank, and Kiryat Arba, a nearby Israeli settlement. Jaaberi was from Hebron.

The armed forces said on Sunday they had arrested one of Jaaberi’s brothers and mapped out the family’s home in a first step toward eventual demolition.

Israel routinely demolishes the homes of Palestinian aggressors, arguing it serves as a deterrent, even though the army halted the practice for years after concluding it was counterproductive. Human rights groups have denounced punitive demolitions as collective punishment.

Saturday’s attack was part of an ongoing escalation, with 2022 on track to be the deadliest year in the West Bank since the United Nations began monitoring deaths in 2005. It came just three days before Israel celebrates its fifth election in less than four years.

While the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not the focus of the campaign, an increase in Palestinian attacks tends to help right-wing parties that advocate tough measures against Palestinians.

No radical Palestinian group has claimed Jaabari as one of its members, although celebrations broke out in Hebron after news of the attack spread.

More than 130 Palestinians have been killed this year in clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The fighting has increased since a series of Palestinian attacks killed 19 people in Israel in the spring. The Israeli army says most of the Palestinians killed have been militants. But young people who were throwing stones in protest at the incursions and others who did not participate in the clashes have also died.

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