US’ Israel Embassy Issues Rare Rebuke of ‘Punitive Demolition’ of Palestinian Home in West Bank

After Israeli authorities demolished the house of a Palestinian-American family in the West Bank, the US embassy in Jerusalem issued a rare rebuke of Israeli policy on Thursday, calling on “all parties to refrain from unilateral steps that exacerbate tensions and undercut efforts to advance a negotiated two-state solution.”

On Wednesday morning, Israeli troops detonated explosives around the house of the Shalabi family in the village of Turmis Ayya, about halfway between Nablus and Ramallah in the West Bank. The demolition was retaliatory, done as punishment by an Israeli military court after Muntasir Shalabi was indicted for a May attack on three Israeli students, one of whom died from his wounds.

The demolition was captured on film and circulated widely on social media.

​Muntasir’s wife, Sanaa, and three of their children, aged 17, 12, and 9, had lived in the home. Sanaa told the Associated Press she and her husband had been estranged for several years and that he typically lived in the United States, but would periodically visit the family’s Turmis Ayya abode. However, an Israeli court ruled the house could be destroyed because Muntasir had reportedly lived there in the weeks prior to the attack and had lived there continuously from 2006 to 2012.

“They want to demoralize us, but we are steadfast. This is the situation of the entire Palestinian people,” Sanaa said, describing her husband as a “resister.” 

Under former US President Donald Trump,…

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