2 Palestinians killed in gun battle with Israeli troops during home demolition


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Two Palestinian men were killed during an Israeli army operation to demolish the home of a Palestinian man accused in the drive-by murder of a Jewish man in the West Bank.

Israeli troops in the early morning hours on Monday razed the home of Muhammad Abu Shaheen in the West Bank Qaliyanda refugee camp. Shaheen is accused of killing Danny Gonen, 25, who lived in the Tel Aviv area.

During the demolition, Palestinian rioters opened fire on Israeli troops, who shot back, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement. In addition, hundreds of Palestinians attacked Israeli forces with firebombs, explosives and rocks, the IDF said.

The Palestinian Maan news agency identified the dead Palestinians as Laith Assad Manasra, 21, and Ahmad Abu al-Aish, 28.

Israel’s Supreme Court approved the demolition last week after rejecting an appeal. It also approved razing the homes of four other alleged terrorists; they were carried out over the weekend by Israeli troops.

Gonen and a friend were shot at point-blank range in June near an Israeli settlement close to Ramallah, where they had gone to swim in a natural spring. They were traveling on a road about a mile west of the West Bank settlement of Dolev when they were flagged down by a Palestinian man seemingly asking them for help, who then shot them.

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