Israel destroys family apartments of accused Palestinian killer

The parents of Arafat Irfaiya, a 29-year-old Palestinian accused of killing a young Israeli woman last February, stand inside their damaged home after an Israeli army bulldoser destroyed it in the Israeli-occupied West Bank town of Hebron, on April 1
The parents of Arafat Irfaiya, a 29-year-old Palestinian accused of killing a young Israeli woman last February, stand inside their damaged home after an Israeli army bulldoser destroyed it in the Israeli-occupied West Bank town of Hebron, on April 19, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

HEBRON, PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES (AFP) - Israeli forces destroyed two apartments in the occupied West Bank on Friday (April 19) that housed the family of a Palestinian accused of killing an Israeli woman in February, the army said.

Soldiers surrounded the apartment block in the flashpoint southern city of Hebron beginning late on Thursday.

They then destroyed the two apartments that were home to the family of Arafat Irfaiya, 29, with the use of heavy construction equipment in the early hours of the morning.

Some clashes broke out between Palestinian residents and Israeli forces during the operation, AFP journalists reported.

The murder of Ori Ansbacher, 19, reportedly stabbed multiple times, triggered shock and anger in Israel.

Her body was found on Feb 7 in a forest south-east of Jerusalem and Irfaiya was arrested two days later in a raid in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Israeli authorities labelled it a "nationalist" attack, meaning linked to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel routinely demolishes the homes of Palestinians accused of attacks on Israelis 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.