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Israeli army prepares Palestinian gunman’s house for demolition

Israeli army says it has prepared Palestinian gunman’s family home for demolition, a day after he killed an Israeli near an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank, several people were injured in the shooting Saturday night

JERUSALEM — The Israeli army on Sunday prepared the family home of a Palestinian gunman for demolition, a day after he killed an Israeli near an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank,

Several people were also injured in the shooting on Saturday night.

Dramatic security camera video showed the assailant firing his assault rifle outside a grocery store before a security guard rammed him with his truck and pinned him to the ground. An off-duty military officer then opened fire and killed the attacker, 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 military said on Sunday it had arrested one of Jaaberi’s brothers and mapped the family home in a first step towards possible demolition.

Israel routinely demolishes the homes of Palestinian attackers, arguing that it has a deterrent effect – even though the army stopped the practice for years after concluding it was counterproductive. Human rights groups have denounced the punitive demolitions as collective punishment.

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

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

No Palestinian militant 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 in Israeli-Palestinian fighting in the West Bank and East Jerusalem this year. 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 were militants. But young stone throwers protesting the incursions and others not involved in the clashes were also killed.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East war and over the decades that followed built dozens of settlements, which today are home to nearly 500,000 Israelis living alongside around 2, 5 million Palestinians. Palestinians seek the territory, along with East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, as a future independent state. There have been no substantive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians for over a decade.


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