JENIN (Ma’an) -- Five Palestinian civilians were injured by Israeli live fire during the predawn hours of Monday, as Israeli forces carried out a punitive demolition on the home of Palestinian prisoner Bilal Ahmed Abu Zeid.
Under the protection of armed Israeli soldiers, bulldozers entered the town of Qabatiya in the Jenin district early Monday morning, where they demolished the home of Abu Zeid, who has been accused of transferring weapons to the attackers suspected in the killing of a 19-year-old Israeli border police officer
and wounding of one other outside the Damascus Gate in occupied East Jerusalem in February.
Kamal Abu al-Rub, deputy governor of the city of Jenin, told Ma’an that Israeli forces began the demolition process at 3 a.m. near the main road of Qabatiya, where the house was located.
Abu al-Rub added that five young men were wounded by live ammunition during clashes with Israeli troops, with one in serious condition.
The young Palestinians were taken to Jenin Hospital, and were identified as Abd al-Rahman Suleiman, 20, who was shot in the chest and remained in critical condition, Rami Zakarneh, 28, who was shot the shoulder, Anwar Kamil, 17, who was shot in the leg, Jawad Kamil, 16, who was shot in the waist, and a fifth young man, who remained unidentified.
An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed Monday’s demolition, saying that Israeli forces identified “three hits,” referring to the young men injured with live fire, adding that clashes broke out which reportedly involved residents of Qabatiya firing towards Israeli soldiers.
Home demolitions are characteristic of the punitive measures Israel frequently takes against Palestinian prisoners, their families, and towns. Since the recent wave of unrest began, punitive home demolitions were expedited at the request of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in mid-October, and many have been carried out across the occupied Palestinian territory since.
The move came despite past recommendations by an Israeli military committee that the practice did not deter attacks.
Israeli rights group B’Tselem has condemned the practice as "court-sanctioned revenge" carried out on family members who have not committed crimes, amounting to collective punishment, a sentiment upheld by many in the international community.