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Palestine: Protesters shot at trying to prevent house demolition

ISRAELI occupation forces shot and tear-gassed dozens of Palestinians yesterday during a pre-dawn raid to demolish a knife attacker’s home.

Troops entered the occupied West Bank village of Kobar after sealing it off to knock down the family home of 19-year-old Omar al-Abed.

Ma’an news agency reported the second floor of the building was completely destroyed and the first floor was partially demolished.

Local youth clashed with the troops, who opened fire with rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas.

Palestinian Red Crescent medics said 12 people were shot and injured, including Palestine TV photojournalist Muhammad Radi, who was shot in the face at close range.

Thirteen more were treated for excessive tear gas inhalation and four people had to be taken to hospital.

On July 21, Mr Abed broke into a home in a nearby illegal Israeli settlement and stabbed three men — a father and his two adult sons — to death.

He was shot and injured by the family’s neighbour and arrested. Israeli authorities later detained Mr Abed’s mother, father, two brothers and uncle and are reportedly planning to charge them with having prior knowledge of the attack and failing to prevent it.

The attack came at the climax of unrest over Israel’s now-rescinded decision to install metal detectors and other security measures at East Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque — the third-holiest site in Islam.

Israel’s policy of demolishing the homes of suicide bombers and, more recently, the spate of knife attackers has been criticised as collective punishment against an occupied people, in violation of the Geneva Convention.

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