Jerusalem, Aug 18 IANS | 2 months ago

Israeli troops Monday demolished the homes of the families of two suspects in the abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank in June, a military spokesperson said in a statement.

A military spokesperson said that "security personnel demolished the residences of Hussam Kawasma and Amer Abu Aysha, and sealed off the residence of Marwan Kawasma in Hebron", Xinhua reported.

Some 250 paramilitary Border Police and dozens of soldiers surrounded the homes, as the demolitions took place, the Israeli daily Ha'aretz reported.

Several Palestinians were slightly injured by rubber-coated bullets and gas during clashes with security forces, the daily said.

Shin Bet, the Israeli security service, said Hussam Kawasma was the mastermind behind the kidnapping and murder of Eyal Yifrach (19), Gil-Ad Sha'ar (16) and Naftali Frankel (16).

He was arrested last month and the Shin Bet said he obtained funding for the attack from Hamas members in the Gaza Strip.

The two other suspects, Marwan Kawasma and Amar Abu Aysha, have not been located yet.

The kidnapping triggered the war in Gaza, which claimed the lives of at least 1,962 Palestinians, mostly civilians, according to Palestinian health officials.

The military said the demolitions were affirmed by Israel's Supreme Court, which rejected three appeals by the families of the suspects.

Military spokesman Peter Lerner said the demolitions were intended to exact "a personal price" from the "terrorists".

Israel used house demolitions as a punitive measure against relatives of Palestinians who harmed or allegedly harmed Israelis.

According to B'tselem, an Israeli human rights group, since Israel occupied the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza in 1967, hundreds of homes were demolished by Israeli security personnel.

However, the military abandoned the policy in 2005, after the security establishment found that the policy's drawbacks outweighed its benefits.

In July, Israel seemed to renew the controversial measure when it demolished the home of the family of Ziad Awad, who was charged by a military court with perpetrating the murder of an off-duty Israeli policeman.

(Posted on 18-08-2014)

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