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Israel destroys home of Palestinian suspect in murder of Israelis

Israel on Tuesday destroyed the West Bank home of a Palestinian accused of aiding in the October 2015 murder of a Jewish settler couple in the Israeli-occupied territory.

world Updated: May 03, 2016 18:53 IST
AFP
Palestinians inspect the damaged house of Zaid Amer, after it was demolished by the Israeli army, in the West Bank city of Nablus, Tuesday, May 3, 2016.
Palestinians inspect the damaged house of Zaid Amer, after it was demolished by the Israeli army, in the West Bank city of Nablus, Tuesday, May 3, 2016. (AP)

Israel on Tuesday destroyed the West Bank home of a Palestinian accused of aiding in the October 2015 murder of a Jewish settler couple in the Israeli-occupied territory.

Palestinian Zeid Amr, aged 26 or 27, is accused of being part of a squad from the militant Hamas movement that ambushed and shot dead Naama and Eitam Henkin in front of their young children as the couple drove on a road between two West Bank settlements.

Amr, who is alleged to have staked out the attack site ahead of the shooting, was detained along with four other Hamas-linked suspects a few days after the attack.

His father Ziad Amr told AFP that Israeli troops arrived at the family apartment in the northern West Bank city of Nablus around 6:30 am (0330 GMT)on Tuesday.

Palestinians inspect the damaged house of Zaid Amer, after it was demolished by the Israeli army, in the West Bank city of Nablus, Tuesday, May 3, 2016. (AP)

“They destroyed interior walls and closed off our home,” he said, adding that the family had been given advance warning after their appeal in Israel’s Supreme Court was rejected.

An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed the demolition.

“He was a member of a Hamas-affiliated terror cell that planned and executed the terror attack on October 1, killing Eitam and Naama Henkin,” she told AFP, saying Amr had “scouted” the route for the attack.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accelerated demolitions of the homes of alleged attackers in a bid to halt a wave of violence that has killed 203 Palestinians and 28 Israelis since October.

Palestinians inspect the damaged house of Zaid Amer, after it was demolished by the Israeli army, in the West Bank city of Nablus, Tuesday, May 3, 2016. (AP)

Most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks, Israeli authorities say.

Critics say the home demolitions constitute collective punishment, in breach of international humanitarian law, but supporters say it helps deter would-be attackers.

In December, the army blew up the Nablus home of Rajeb Aliweh, a Palestinian accused of masterminding the killing of the Henkins.

Palestinians inspect the damaged house of Zaid Amer (AP)

Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip but is also active in the West Bank, has not claimed responsibility for the attack.

Also on Tuesday police said they had arrested a Palestinian teenager in Jerusalem’s Old City suspected of stabbing a Jewish man there late on Monday.

“The terrorist was found hiding in one of the alleyways of the Old City,” a police statement said, identifying the suspect as an 18-year-old from the West Bank.

The victim, described by police as “a Jewish male, aged about 60,” was said by Jerusalem’s Shaarei Tzedek hospital to be in stable condition after treatment to a damaged lung.