Middle East

Israeli troops target Palestinian suspects

Homes of Palestinians allegedly behind kidnapping and murder of three Israeli settlers demolished in Hebron.

Last updated: 18 Aug 2014 08:28
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The raids reportedly triggered clashes between Israeli soldiers and locals. [AFP]

Israeli soldiers have raided and demolished the homes of Palestinians suspected to have been involved in the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenage settlers, triggering clashes with locals in Hebron in the occupied West Bank.

Troops destroyed the homes of Hussam Qawasme and Amer Abu Aysha before dawn on Monday and sealed off the home of a third suspect, Marwan Qawasme, the army said.

The July killings of the teenagers set off a cycle of violence that led to a month-long Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip.

The family home of Hussam Qawasmi, who was arrested in July, accused of planning the murders, was blown up as part of Monday's raids. 

Hours earlier, Israeli forces raided the neighbourhood where the house of Abu Aysha is located.

His mother told Al Jazeera that three out of five apartments in the building were completely demolished.

The house of the third suspect, Marwan Qawasme, which was partially demolished in July, was filled with concrete.

Abu Aysha and Qawasme remain at large,

The three Israeli settlers, Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel, went missing on June 12 and were found dead a couple of weeks later near Hebron.

Israel accuses the Palestinian Hamas movement for the abduction.

Human rights organisations warned that the demolitions marked a return to Israeli use of home demolitions as a punitive measure. The tactic had earlier been deemed counterproductive by an Israeli commission and has not been executed since 2005.


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