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Bennett bristles under US criticism for punitive house demolition

In a first open disagreement, Washington condemned Jerusalem for demolishing the family home of a Palestinian assailant, while Jerusalem said its first priority is the safety of Israeli citizens.
A building that belonged to Palestinian Montasser Shalaby, who was arrested in May on suspicion of carrying out a drive-by shooting attack, is imploded in the course of its demolition by Israeli forces in the village of Turmus'ayya near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank on July 8, 2021.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's office responded today to criticism from Washington concerning last night's demolition of convicted Palestinian assailant Muntasser Shalaby's home in the West Bank. A statement from Bennett’s office said, "The Prime Minister appreciates and respects the US government. At the same time, he acts only in accordance with considerations for the State of Israel's security, and to protect the lives of Israeli citizens."

Shalaby is a resident of the village of Turmus Aya in the Ramallah area. A investigation by Israeli security services found he had planned and executed an attack May 2, driving near a bus stop at the Tapuach settlement junction and firing at the civilians waiting there. His indictment stated he had chosen the Tapuch junction specifically to target both civilians and IDF soldiers. The indictment also noted that Shalaby only ceased firing after his weapon gave out, after killing 19-year-old Yehuda Guetta and wounding two other people.

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