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Israeli forces raid home of slain Palestinian, summon family members for interrogation

April 20, 2017 12:53 P.M. (Updated: April 21, 2017 1:01 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces raided the home of slain Palestinian Suhaib Mashahra in the Jerusalem-area village of Sheikh Saad on Wednesday night, after the 21-year-old was shot dead by Israeli forces when he hit an Israeli bus with his car at a junction near Israel’s illegal Gush Etzion settlement bloc.

Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided the village, before entering and searching Mashahra’s home. Israeli forces then summoned Mashahra’s mother and his brothers Nimr and Omar for interrogation with Israeli intelligence, according to the family.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an she would look into reports on the raid.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an on Wednesday that a Palestinian vehicle hit a bus stop at the junction, injuring an Israeli civilian, adding that Israeli forces in the area shot at the driver, who they described as an "assailant."

However, photographs of the scene published by Israeli media showed that the Palestinian vehicle had seemingly collided with the back of a bus.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said that Mashahra was originally from the village of al-Sawahira -- a village near Sheikh Saad.

Sheikh Saad is a Palestinian village caught within Israel’s “seam zone” -- isolated Palestinian areas that fall between Israel’s separation wall and the Green Line. While most residents hold Jerusalem IDs, they are separated from their Palestinian neighbors and must receive special permission to pass a checkpoint into Jerusalem-area communities on the other side of the wall.

Meanwhile, according to Ma'an documentation, Mashahra is the 19th Palestinian to have been killed by Israelis since the beginning of the year, 12 of whom were 25 years old or younger.

Israel has come under repeated criticism for using lethal force on Palestinians who posed no threat or could have been detained through nonlethal means, with the Palestinian leadership, rights groups, and the United Nations accusing Israeli forces of carrying out "extrajudicial executions."

Though Israeli forces have claimed that a number of Palestinians were carrying out attacks when they were killed, Palestinians and rights groups have disputed Israel's version of events in a number of cases.

Israeli authorities have also been repeatedly criticized for their policies against families of alleged attackers, which many rights groups have said amounts to “collective punishment,” including detaining family members of alleged attackers, revoking their Jerusalem IDs, and demolishing their homes.

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