Israeli army demolishes home of Palestinian assailant

Israeli army demolishes home of Palestinian assailant

Agency News

Jerusalem, Mar 7 : Israeli forces demolished early on Thursday the home of a Palestinian who was behind the killing of an Israeli newborn and two soldiers in the West Bank last December.

Bulldozers accompanied by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) troops, Border Police officers, and the Civil Administration personnel, carried out the demolition of the home of Asem Barghouti in the village of Kauber, north of Ramallah, according to a statement released by the army.

Barghouti was arrested in January after a month-long manhunt. He is accused of carrying out a shooting attack at the Ofra Junction, outside the Israeli settlement of Ofra, along with his brother on Dec 9, 2018. In the attack, a three-day-old baby boy was killed and seven civilians were injured.

Barghouti carried out another shooting attack at the Asaf Junction in the central West Bank on Dec 13, 2018, in which Staff-Sergeant Yovel Moryosef and Sergeant Yosef Cohen were killed.

"The terrorist was located following persistent intelligence and operational efforts of the Israel Security Agency, Israel's Counter Terrorism Unit and the IDF on Jan 8, 2019," said the spokesperson.

The army warned that it will continue to operate to "thwart terror and maintain the security in the area."

Israel says house demolitions are an effective deterrent against attacks. Critics counter that the tactic amounts to collective punishment.

Since Israel seized the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967, it has demolished hundreds of Palestinian homes as a punitive measure aimed at deterring Palestinians from carrying out attacks against Israelis in the future.

In early 2005, a Defence Ministry committee concluded that the measure is ineffective, and Israel ceased to use it.

However, the government renewed the controversial practice in 2015, in the wake of the wave of street attacks.

The US administration has denounced the demolitions as "counterproductive" and Palestinians and human rights organizations say it constitutes an unlawful collective punishment that leaves the relatives homeless. (UNI-XINHUA)