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Israeli forces raid home, town of Palestinian fighter

Israeli security force fire at Palestinians in West Bank on 22 September 2017 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli occupation forces have raided the family home and town of Palestinian resistance fighter Nimr Jamal, who is accused of killing three Israelis, one Border Police officer and two security guards, in a shooting attack outside a settlement yesterday morning.

In response to the attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered for Jamal’s village of Beit Surik to be sealed off and imposed a curfew, according to Ma’an news agency.

Earlier this morning an army spokesperson confirmed the closure remained in place, saying all crossings and passages from the area around Beit Surik and the adjacent village of Biddu were closed. Palestinians are only allowed passage for “humanitarian reasons”, after undergoing intrusive security checks.

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Footage from the village of Biddu also showed Israeli soldiers taking over residential buildings and forcing owners onto the streets

Jamal’s family home is also due to be demolished, and was raided yesterday in preparation for the evacuation of his four children and other family members. Israeli soldiers caused significant damage to the property and personal possessions.

Israeli authorities routinely seal entire villages following Palestinian attacks or alleged attacks, one of many measures implemented as a form of collective punishment. Amnesty International is among numerous human rights organisations that have condemned such policies, which impact families for years after an attack occurs.

Israeli rights group B’Tselem has also termed the practice of punitive house demolitions as “court-sanctioned revenge” on relatives who have not committed crimes and emphasised that it is a practice considered illegal under international law.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has increased the demolitions of Palestinian homes since 2015. The move is justified as part of a policy of deterrence, despite previous military committee statements that such actions do not prevent attacks.

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