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Israel destroys West Bank home of Palestinian charged with murder

An Israeli soldier looks on as the home of a Palestinian man charged with the murder of an Israeli is destroyed in the West Bank on Thursday November 30 2017
IDF Spokesman's Unit
Israeli authorities described the murder of Reuven Schmerling as a terrorist attack

The Israeli army destroyed early Friday the West Bank home of a Palestinian man charged with murdering his Israeli employer, Palestinian security officials said.

As a bulldozer was used to raze the home of Mohammed Abu Elrob in the town of Qabatiya, clashes broke out between soldiers and residents in which one Palestinian was wounded, the sources said.

Elrob and another Palestinian man were charged on October 29 with the October 4 murder of their Israeli employer Reuven Schmerling at their workplace in Kafr Qassem in central Israel.

Schmerling, 70 and who lived in the Israeli settlement of Elkana in the West Bank, was stabbed and beaten to death by the two in his coal warehouse, prosecutors say.

Israeli authorities described his murder as a terrorist attack.

Israel routinely destroys the homes of Palestinians it accuses of carrying out attacks, arguing the tactic acts as a deterrent.

Critics say it amounts to collective punishment.

Since a wave of violence began in October 2015, at least 309 Palestinians or Arab Israelis, 52 Israelis and seven foreigners have been killed in a series of attacks, according to an AFP count.

Israeli authorities say most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks.

Violence has subsided greatly in recent months.

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