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Palestinian shot dead by Israeli forces during East Jerusalem clashes

Dec. 22, 2016 10:43 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 22, 2016 8:29 P.M.)
19-year-old Ahmad Kharoubi
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian overnight Wednesday, after he allegedly threw a Molotov cocktail at Israeli soldiers during clashes that erupted in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Kafr Aqab when Israeli troops raided the area to carry out a punitive home demolition.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the slain Palestinian as 19-year-old Ahmad al-Kharroubi.

There were no injuries among Israeli forces, according to the Israeli army.

Al-Kharroubi was critically injured after being shot with live ammunition in the neck, and died shortly after his arrival to the hospital.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that after suspects threw improvised explosive devices at Israeli soldiers, Israeli forces opened fire on one of the suspects, which "resulted in his death."

The clashes erupted in the wake of an Israeli army raid to partially demolish the house of Misbah Abu Sbeih who was shot dead by Israeli forces in October after carrying out a shooting attack in occupied East Jerusalem, killing one Israeli civilian and one Israeli police officer.

The Israeli Supreme Court ordered on Monday that the interior walls of the home be destroyed and its exterior entrances and windows be sealed, despite the fact that Abu Sbeih’s widow and five children -- the youngest of them 10 and the oldest 18 -- were still residing in the house.

The deadline set by the court for them to evacuate the home ended at dawn Thursday morning.

Misbah’s brother, Jaber Abu Sbeih, told Ma'an Thursday morning that the family had appealed the demolition order, particularly on the grounds that the home belonged to their father, not Misbah himself. However, the court rejected the appeal.

Israeli forces meanwhile detained Misbah's brother Taysir on Wednesday, and following the attack in October Israeli forces also detained Misbah's father, 17-year-old daughter, and two sons for several days, in addition to closing stores owned by his father for 50 days.

Abu Sbeih’s body is also still being held by Israeli authorities, as part of an Israeli government policy of withholding Palestinian bodies killed during attacks and alleged attacks predicated on the claim that their funerals provide grounds for “incitement” against the Israeli state.

Israel has meanwhile dramatically increased their policy of punitive home demolitions since 2015 in an effort to “deter” attacks carried out by Palestinian individuals, 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 and a clear violation of international law.

According to Ma'an documentation, Abu Sbieh was the 232nd Palestinian to be killed by Israelis since the beginning of a wave of unrest in October 2015, while 34 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians in the more than year-long time period.

Al-Kharroubi's death marked the 245th Palestinian to be killed by Israelis since the unrest began.

The violence has mostly been characterized by small-scale attacks with knives or similar weapons, while a number of attempted and actual shooting attacks have also targeted Israelis.

However, at least 67 Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli forces during clashes or police and army raids. Less than a week ago, Israeli forces shot in the chest and killed 19-year-old Ahmad Hazem Ata al-Rimawi in the Ramallah-area village of Beit Rima during clashes.

Days earlier, a funeral had been held in the southern occupied West Bank Hebron-area village of Beit Ummar, after Israeli authorities returned the body of 15-year-old Khalid Bahr, shot and killed by Israeli forces on Oct. 20 in the village, when Israeli authorities claimed Khalid was throwing rocks at soldiers.

An internal Israeli army investigation later revealed that the lives of Israeli soldiers were not at risk when the 15-year-old boy was killed.

Rights groups have routinely condemned Israeli authorities for their use of excessive force against Palestinians, including minors, during incidents that did not warrant a violent response.

Punitive demolition of the home of Misbah Abu Sbieh
Punitive demolition of the home of Misbah Abu Sbieh
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