Israeli military destroys the homes of 2 Palestinians who carried out the attack

The Israeli military said Tuesday it had demolished the homes of two Palestinians accused of carrying out deadly attacks in the West Bank last year.

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

During the demolition process, the military said several armed Palestinians opened fire on the assigned soldiers. The soldiers retaliated. The military also said dozens of Palestinians threw stones, firebombs and grenades at them. There have been no reports of any injuries.

Israeli officials say house demolition prevents future attacks from happening, while rights groups view the tactic as a form of collective punishment.

The demolition came hours after a Palestinian stabbed two police officers in Jerusalem’s Old City before he was shot dead by police, the second such incident in recent days. On Sunday, police shot dead a 19-year-old Palestinian after he stabbed an Israeli policeman in the Old City. The policeman was lightly injured.

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

Palestinians seek the West Bank and Gaza as part of their future independent state, with east Jerusalem as its capital. [ab/ka]