Israeli troops demolish homes of Palestinian attackers

JERUSALEM (AP): The Israeli military said Tuesday it has demolished the homes of two Palestinians accused of carrying out a deadly shooting attack in the occupied West Bank last year.

The residences of Mohammed Jaradat and Jit Jaradat in the West Bank were demolished Monday, the military said. The men are accused of shooting at a car driving near the outpost of Homesh, killing a Jewish seminary student and wounding two others.

During the demolition, the military said armed Palestinians fired at the troops, who fired back. The military also said dozens of Palestinians threw rocks, firebombs and grenades at the troops who responded with live fire and other means. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Israeli officials say home demolitions deter future attacks, while rights groups view the tactic as a form of collective punishment.

The demolitions came hours after a Palestinian stabbed two police officers in Jerusalem’s Old City before he was shot and killed by police, the second such incident in as many days.

On Sunday, police shot and killed a 19-year-old Palestinian after he stabbed an officer in the Old City. The officer was lightly injured.

Israel captured east Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, in the 1967 Mideast war. It later annexed east Jerusalem in a move not recognized by most of the international community.

The Palestinians seek the West Bank and Gaza for a future independent state, with east Jerusalem as its capital.