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Palestinian stabs soldier in West Bank

ISRAELI forces demolished a Palestinian family’s home and sealed another in concrete yesterday in revenge for a recent spate of attacks.

Three hours later, another gunman opened fire on an army patrol in southern Hebron, slightly wounding a soldier, the army said, adding that the unknown assailant fled after the attack. The same day, Alaa Abu Jamal rammed his auto into pedestrians and then stabbed people, killing one.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in November vowed to expedite punitive house demolitions in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which he said were “one of the most efficient tools” in discouraging Palestinian attacks.

More than 10 reported attacks have taken place at the junction, with at least six Palestinians and three Israelis killed over the period.

According to the United Nations, 19 homes of families and neighbours of Palestinian attackers were destroyed by Israel a year ago.

Rafat Sub Leban, advocacy coordinator at Addameer, called on Israel to release the rest of the bodies, labelling it a “form of collective punishment”. That death toll doesn’t include the two people killed in a Friday shooting in Tel Aviv, as the motive for that assault remains unclear.

Police and special forces are still searching for the accused shooter in that attack, Nashat Milhem, an Arab from northern Israel who is considered to be armed and risky.

In the early stages of the unrest, PA security forces allowed crowds to approach checkpoints, where they protested and clashed with Israeli security forces. The Palestinians say it is rooted in frustration stemming from almost five decades of Israeli occupation.

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