Israel demolishes homes of West Bank murder suspects

The Palestinians are suspected in an incident that helped trigger the conflict in Gaza.
By Ed Adamczyk  |  Aug. 18, 2014 at 1:22 PM
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HEBRON, West Bank, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- The Hebron, West Bank, homes of two of the three Palestinians suspected of abducting and murdering three Israeli teenagers in June were demolished Monday.

A statement from the Israel Defense Forces said "security personnel demolished the residences of Hussam Kawasma and Amer Abu Aysha, and sealed off the residence of Marwan Kawasma in Hebron."

The Israeli security service Shin Bet claims the three were responsible for the kidnapping and deaths of Eyal Yifrach, Gil-Ad Sha'ar and Naftali Frankel. The incident caused anger and outrage in Israel, and was a trigger point in the start of the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel in Gaza.

Shin Bet said Hussam Kawasma was the mastermind of the abduction, and after he was captured, said he obtained funding from the Hamas militant group for the plot. The two other suspects have not been captured.

House demolitions are a common punitive measure in Israel, against Palestinians or their relatives who have allegedly harmed Israelis. Hundreds of West Bank and Gaza homes were demolished after Israel took control in 1967, the Israeli human rights group B'tselem said. The practice was ended in 2005 but was renewed in July 2014.

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