Seven Palestinian homes have been demolished in the past 24 hours across the Occupied West Bank – a move dubbed as “collective punishment” by Palestinian leaders.
The list of demolished structures includes three houses in Qabatiya town south of Jenin belonging to families of a trio gunned down in February after they killed an Israeli soldier.
Overnight on Monday, Israeli forces destroyed the family homes of Ahmad Zakarneh, Mohammad Kmeel and Ahmad Abu el-Rub, who fatally shot an Israeli Border Policewoman near Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate. Four other homes were also razed in the Occupied East Jerusalem and West Bank villages of Surif and Duma.
Qabatiya, home to 20,000 Palestinians, has been completely sealed off by the Israeli army twice in recent months, and many of its inhabitants have had their work permits revoked.
Since September last year, 57 houses belonging to Palestinians have been levelled, according to the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s Negotiations Affairs Department.
At least 10 Palestinians from the town have also been killed by Israeli forces since October last year.
According to the UN, around 18 percent of the West Bank is considered to be “firing zones” by the Israeli authorities, affecting some 38 Palestinian communities within these areas. Yet structures are continued to be built and regularly taken down.