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Israeli forces demolish home of Palestinian prisoner

March 7, 2019 11:29 A.M. (Updated: March 8, 2019 11:49 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces demolished the house of Palestinian prisoner Assem Omar al-Barghouthi, on predawn Thursday, in Kobar in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah and al-Bireh.

Some 40 Israeli military vehicles at around 2:00 a.m. escorted the demolition bulldozer into Kobar, on predawn, before clashes erupted between Palestinian youths and Israeli soldiers until early morning hours.

Israeli forces used tear-gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets to suppress youth during clashes.

The bulldozer demolished the two-story house within two hours.

The Israeli Supreme Court had approved the demolition order, last Monday, after an appeal by the al-Barghouthi family was rejected.

Israel accuses Assem of carrying out an attack killing two Israeli soldiers near Ramallah on December 13, one day after his brother, Saleh, 29, was reportedly shot and killed by Israeli soldiers north of Ramallah.

Israeli forces had detained Assem during Israeli raids in the Abu Skheidem village in the Ramallah and al-Bireh district, on January 10th.

Assem and Saleh’s mother, Suheir al-Barghouthi, who was released earlier this week after being held in Israeli custody for one month, said that the demolition of her son’s home is a proof of Israel’s “failed policy and defeat.”

Assem's brother, Saleh, was shot by Israeli forces near Ramallah on December 12; initial reports said that al-Barghouthi was shot and killed after carrying out an attack against Israelis, however, his family says that Saleh was detained alive and might have died in custody.

Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq had sent a joint urgent appeal to the United Nations (UN) Special Procedures regarding the enforced disappearance of al-Barghouthi.

A recent investigation by B'Tselem found that, contrary to official Israeli statements, Saleh al-Barghouthi did not try to flee or run anyone over, nor could he have tried: two security vehicles were blocking the taxi he was driving at either end, and he was surrounded by some 10 security personnel who shot him point-blank – an operation resembling an extrajudicial killing. Official attempts to sanction the killing in retrospect ensure no one will be held accountable.

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