Hebron killing leaves Israel in tears


Although violence has largely died down in most of Israel, it is continuing in the West Bank.

On Friday afternoon, an Israeli father and son were shot dead by a Palestinian in a drive-by shooting south of Hebron. And on Sunday night, two Palestinians were killed in Kalkilya after they shot at IDF soldiers demolishing the homes of men who had killed an Israeli five months ago.

The Litman family from Kiryat Arba - the parents and four of their five children - were driving to a Shabbat meal to celebrate the forthcoming wedding of their eldest daughter.

As they approached Othniel, shots were fired at the car and the father, Ya'akov, and 18-year-old Netanel, were killed.

There has been a steady rise in terror attacks near Hebron but this was the worst incident there in recent months.

Israeli officers said last week they believed the attacks in the West Bank could escalate as Palestinian organisations and individuals are increasingly forced to operate closer to home following increased security within the "Green Line".

On Saturday, less than 24 hours after the murders, Shadi Mutawa, from Hebron, was arrested after his father reportedly gave him up at a military checkpoint.

While being questioned by the Shin Bet, the father said he was concerned that the family home would be demolished in retribution. This has reinforced the view among supporters of demolition that the practice does act as a deterrent.

On Sunday night, forces arrived at the Kalkilya refugee camp to demolish the homes of two Palestinians who murdered Danny Gonen at a spring near the settlement of Dolev earlier this year.

The demolition sparked riots, and shots were fired at the Israeli forces who responded and killed two men. The IDF insists that both were among those who had opened fire.

The High Court in Jerusalem authorised the demolitions of homes of other murderers last week, overturning four out of five appeals against the orders.

It upheld one appeal, ruling that a rented flat was too disconnected from the murderer to be considered for

In 2005, a special IDF commission called for demolitions to be scrapped on the basis that they do not serve as a real deterrent.

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