Israel destroys home of Palestinian accused of killing two Israelis

Israeli forces blow up the family house of Palestinian assailant Omar Abu Laila, in Az-Zawiya village, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, April 24, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 24 April 2019
0

Israel destroys home of Palestinian accused of killing two Israelis

  • Israel routinely demolishes the homes of Palestinians accused of attacks as part of a policy it says discourages future violence
  • Human rights groups and Palestinians say the practice amounts to collective punishment

NABLUS: Israel’s military on Wednesday destroyed the West Bank home of a Palestinian accused of having killed two Israelis in March, the army said.
Soldiers surrounded the home late Tuesday in Az-Zawiya in the Salfit region of the occupied West Bank before carrying out the demolition using explosives and heavy machinery.
Omar Amin Abu Laila was accused of fatally stabbing soldier Gal Keidan, 19, and stealing his weapon on March 17, the army said at the time.
He then fired at Israeli motorists, hitting 47-year-old rabbi Ahiad Ettinger, a resident of the Eli settlement, who later died of his wounds, according to the army.
Abu Laila, 19, was shot dead two days later during an arrest raid by Israeli forces in the West Bank village of Abwein, north of Ramallah.
Israeli authorities accused Abu Laila of opening fire at forces, who killed him.
Israel routinely demolishes the homes of Palestinians accused of attacks as part of a policy it says discourages future violence.
But human rights groups and Palestinians say the practice amounts to collective punishment, with family members forced to pay for the acts of a relative.


UK to send third warship to Gulf

Updated 22 min 12 sec ago
0

UK to send third warship to Gulf

  • HMS Kent will take over from HMS Duncan later this year
  • Last week a Navy ship warned off Iranian gunboats that were trying to “impede” the progress of a British supertanker

LONDON: Britain will send a third Royal Navy warship to the Gulf, the defense ministry announced Tuesday, while insisting that it did not “reflect an escalation” of tensions with Iran in the region.
Britain has already sent the HMS Duncan, an air defense destroyer, to cover for frigate HMS Montrose while it undergoes maintenance in nearby Bahrain, and will also send frigate HMS Kent “later this year.”
Reports said it would head to the Gulf in mid-September.
HMS Montrose last week warned off three Iranian gunboats that UK officials said were trying to “impede” the progress of a British supertanker through the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf.
The defense ministry said the HMS Kent would be “taking over” from HMS Duncan, but added that an “occasional overlap of ships when one deployment begins and another ends... is not uncommon,” suggesting that all three could be in the region at some point.
The ministry said the deployments were “long-planned” to ensure “an unbroken presence” in the crucial waterway and “do not reflect an escalation in the UK posture in the region.”
Iranian officials have denied last Wednesday’s incident in the Strait of Hormuz ever happened.
The British government has in any case raised the alert level for ships traveling through Iranian waters to three on a three-point scale, indicating a “critical” threat.
HMS Duncan is an air defense destroyer that carries a set of heavy Harpoon anti-ship missiles and has a company and crew in excess of 280.
Tensions have been escalating in the region for weeks, with US President Donald Trump last month calling off at the last minute an air strike on Iran over its downing of a US spy drone.
The Strait of Hormuz episode occurred a week after UK Royal Marines helped the Gibraltar authorities detain an Iranian tanker that US officials believe was trying to deliver oil to Syria in violation of separate sets of EU and US sanctions.
Iran has bristled at the arrest and issued a series of increasingly ominous warnings to both the United States and Britain about its right to take unspecified actions in reprisal.
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt sought to ease tensions on Monday by saying the tanker would be released if Tehran guaranteed it was not heading to Syria.