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Israel demolishes home of Palestinian accused of killing Israelis

Israeli authorities demolished the home of Rajeb Aliweh, December 3, 2015 [AFP]

Date of publication: 3 December, 2015

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Israeli forces demolished the home of a Palestinian prisoner today as security forces admit arresting a Jewish terror cell linked to the murder of a Palestinian family in July.
Israel demolished on Thursday the home of Rajeb Aliweh, whom it accuses of killing a Jewish settler couple, Naama and Eitam Henkin.

The Israelis also accused Aliweh, currently held by the Israeli authorities, of being a member of Hamas but the Palestinian organisation did not claim responsibility for the killing of the Henkins.

Israeli authorities under pressure

The Israeli authorities are under significant pressure dealing with the wave of violence that has been described as a third intifada began early in October in which at least 105 Palestinians have died. 17 Israelis, an American and an Eritrean have also died in the violence.

This has also been compounded with their investigation into the firebombing of the home of the Dawabsheh family in the West Bank that killed three members of the family, including an 18-month-old boy.

The Dawabsheh family home in Duma, West Bank, was set on fire on 31 July, immediately killing 18-month-old Ali and critically wounding his mother, father and brother. His mother, Reham, and his father, Saad, have since died as well. His 4-year-old brother Ahmed is the sole survivor from the immediate family.

Despite a trail of evidence left by the attackers, the Israeli intelligence agencies procrastinated in looking for the culprits and only made restrictions on the movements of some members of the Jewish extremist group known as the "price tag."

Israel faced mounting internal and external pressure to bring the attackers to justice and later put three suspects under administrative arrest but did not tie them publicly to the arson attack.

Israel's General Security Service (Shin Bet) confirmed the new arrests and said that those detained in recent days were being questioned over the firebombing.

Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said in September that he knew who was responsible for the arson attack but that he had chosen to prevent legal recourse against those responsible because he wanted to protect the identity of his sources.

Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset, Basel Ghattas, pointed out to the possibility that the Israeli reluctance to reveal the identity of the criminals stems from the possible presence of a Shin Bet agent among one of the Jewish terrorist groups and is worried about getting the infiltrator exposed.

No one has been charged for the murders despite widespread condemnation globally as well as by Israelis and Palestinians.

Demolishing Palestinian homes

Israel has been demolishing the homes of Palestinians it accuses of involvement in the killing of Israelis.

Lately, Israel stepped up demolition operations in a move that has been highly criticised as collective punishment by rights groups inside and outside Palestine.

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