JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli forces on Thursday demolished the family home of a Palestinian-American man accused of being involved in a deadly attack on Israelis in the West Bank in May.
Associated Press video footage showed Israeli army troops leveling the two-story home of Muntasser Shalaby in the village of Turmus Ayya with controlled explosions.
Israel says Shalaby carried out a May 2 drive-by shooting in the Israeli-occupied West Bank that killed Israeli student Yehuda Guetta and wounded two others. He was arrested days after the attack. His wife, Sanaa Shalaby, told the AP they were estranged for several years and that he spent most of his time in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he had married three other women in unofficial Islamic ceremonies. The entire family has U.S. citizenship.
The Israeli Supreme Court upheld the demolition order in a decision last month. Sanaa and her three children had been living in the home.
The case drew attention to Israel’s policy of punitive demolitions of the homes of Palestinians who attacked Israelis. Israeli officials say the demolitions deter future attacks, while rights groups view them as a form of collective punishment.
The U.S. State Department has urged a halt to punitive home demolitions.
The U.S. Embassy said in a statement that it was following reports of the home demolition, and that all sides should “refrain from unilateral steps that exacerbate tensions and undercut efforts to advance a negotiated two-state solution, this certainly includes the punitive demolition of Palestinian homes.”
“As we stated numerous times, the home of an entire family should not be demolished for the actions of one individual,” the embassy said.