Israeli Military destroys home of Palestinian

Israeli Military destroys home of Palestinian

JERUSALEM (APP) - Israel's military overnight destroyed the home of a Palestinian accused of involvement in a shooting attack in the occupied West Bank that led to the death of a rabbi, it said Tuesday.

The army said it used explosives to destroy the home of Mohammed Abed Almajid Mohammed El-Amaira, 38, in Dura, southwest of the West Bank city of Hebron.

Amaira, a member of the Palestinian Authority security services, was arrested several weeks ago, accused of having helped plan and carry out the attack on July 1, when gunmen opened fire on a car near Hebron.

The car crashed, killing rabbi Michael Mark, who led a religious school in the Israeli settlement of Otniel, and injuring two family members, according to the army.

Amaira is accused of having been the driver in the attack.

Another Palestinian accused over the attack, Mohamed Fakih, 29, was killed during a raid in July that saw Israeli forces fire anti-tank missiles at a house in the West Bank village of Surif.

Israel regularly destroys the homes of Palestinians accused of attacks as part of efforts to deter future violence.

Palestinians and human rights activists say the policy amounts to collective punishment, forcing families to suffer for the acts of others.

Also overnight, the body of Thaer Abu Ghazaleh, a 19-year-old Palestinian shot dead after three passers-by were stabbed and lightly wounded in Tel Aviv last October, was finally returned to his relatives for burial.

Israel authorities have often withheld the bodies of Palestinians killed while carrying out attacks, in a policy which has divided Israeli officials.

A wave of violence since October has killed 222 Palestinians, 34 Israelis, two Americans, an Eritrean and a Sudanese.