Late Monday night, Israeli troops moved into Hebron and forced the families out of two homes. The troops then placed explosives and blew the two homes up, according to eyewitnesses.
The homes in question were the residences of two men who were abducted earlier in the day on suspicion of involvement in the killing of three Israeli settlers whose bodies were discovered Monday after having been missing for 18 days.
The two men, Marwan al-Qawasmeh, 29, and Amer Abu Eisha, 33, stand accused of the abduction and murder of 3 Israeli settlers.
When the soldiers arrived, they forced all family members out of their beds and onto the street. The families were then forced to stand and watch as the Israeli military placed explosives on their homes and detonated the explosives, completely destroying the two homes.
The practice of punitive home demolitions, in which the family home of a person accused of a crime is destroyed, was reportedly stopped by Israel in 2004, although several instances of punitive home demolitions have been documented since then.
The vast majority of home demolitions carried out by the Israeli military are so-called ‘administrative demolitions’, in which the Israeli government issues a demolition order with the claim that the home was constructed without the necessary permit. No permits have been issued to Palestinians to construct on their own property since the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza began in 1967.