Israel demolishes attacker's West Bank home; six new deaths reported

Israeli forces on Saturday demolished the West Bank family home of a Palestinian who attacked and killed two Israelis in early October, according to witnesses.

Personnel sealed off the area around the home of Muhannad Halabi in the village of Surda, north of Ramallah, and proceeded to demolish it.

Halabi stabbed and killed two Israelis in Jerusalem's Old City on October 3. He was shot and killed on the spot.

His act was the spark for an ongoing spate of attacks characterized by stabbings or drivers ramming cars into people. Attacks have been reported in the West Bank, Jerusalem and other parts of Israel, leaving more than 20 Israelis dead.

The violence continued Saturday, when two Palestinians were shot dead as they approached Israeli soldiers at an army checkpoint in the West Bank, allegedly attempting to stab the soldiers.

The incident came after the death Friday of four Palestinians in the Hebron area in the south of the West Bank after they allegedly attempted to stab Israelis.

Three of the dead were from the same family and were together north of Hebron at the time of the incident. The fourth was killed in Hebron after he also allegedly attempted to stab Israelis.

At least 140 Palestinians have also been killed, most of them shot dead by Israeli security forces in the wake of the attacks.

Witnesses said the army used a bulldozer to demolish the Halabi house.

Israeli authorities issued a demolition order against the house in October as a punishment.

The family appealed the order to the Israeli High Court, which, at the end of December, upheld the demolition order as a "deterrent" measure and said the house should be demolished within 10 days.

The Halabi family had left their home after the stabbing and moved to live in Ramallah in anticipation of the army demolition of their house.

Residents clashed with the Israeli forces during the demolition. According to medical reports, at least three people were lightly injured.

Israel had so far demolished more than 10 homes of Palestinians involved in the attacks.

Last update: Sat, 09/01/2016 - 13:46
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