PHOTOS: Israeli forces kill Palestinian and bulldoze his family house

In an overnight raid in the West Bank village of Qabalan, Israeli forces kill 24-year-old Palestinian Zakaria Al-Aqra and injure six others. They then bulldoze part of his family’s house.

Photos and text by: Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org

Israeli soldiers search the area during an army operation in which soldiers killed Palestinian Zakaria Al-Aqra, 24, at his family home in the West Bank village of Qabalan, near Nablus, August 11, 2014. Al-Aqra was wanted by Israel. Six other people from his family were wounded and parts of his house were destroyed during the operation which lasted eight hours. Qabalan village has been raided several times in the last two weeks by Israeli army. (photo: Activestills.org)
Israeli soldiers search the area during an army operation in which soldiers killed Palestinian Zakaria Al-Aqra, 24, at his family home in the West Bank village of Qabalan, near Nablus, August 11, 2014. Al-Aqra was wanted by Israel. Six other people from his family were wounded and parts of his house were destroyed during the operation which lasted eight hours. Qabalan village has been raided several times in the last two weeks by Israeli army. (photo: Activestills.org)

At about midnight on August 11, the Israeli army raided the West Bank village of Qabalan near Nablus. As clashes erupted with the local residents, the military focused its operation in the eastern part of the village on a hill called Al Qantara. Locals reported that they heard fierce exchanges of gunfire at about 2:00 a.m. as the army surrounded two houses of the Al-Aqra family. They said Israeli forces used live bullets and rifle-fired grenades. The army also bombed the entrance of one house.

I arrived at 5:30 a.m. The area was quiet. The clashes had stopped. The army was everywhere in the village. About 15 jeeps were still surrounding the Al-Aqra family house from every side. Two bulldozers were in the area. I could see a whole family detained in one room. The army prevented anyone from entering the area of the operation – even medical staff and journalists. I went to the roof of a nearby house for a better view. I saw a small bulldozer trying to clear a path for a bigger D9 Caterpillar. The smaller bulldozer destroyed electricity towers and platforms. Then, the D9 started to destroy parts of the house, allowing soldiers to enter.

At about 7:00 a.m., the soldiers left the house. The women detained in the house started crying. When we heard their cries we knew that the “wanted person” had been killed. At 8:00 a.m., the army left the area, allowing journalists and medical staff to reach the house. The military left the body of the victim in his home.

He was Zakaria Al-Aqra, 24, of Fatah. Palestinian television news reported that he was wanted by Israel because of armed resistance activity in the past. According to the army, Al-Aqra was involved in multiple shooting incidents at Israeli soldiers in the West Bank. It said it found arms in the building after the siege ended. Six people in his family were wounded, with one remaining in serious condition.

The interior of the Al-Aqra family house was badly damaged, and all of their possessions destroyed. The walls were full of bullet holes and damage from rifle-fired grenade blasts.

According to other Palestinian media reports, soldiers also arrested the Al-Aqra’s brother, Bilal, and another young man, identified as Alaa Hussein Abdulrahim. Another report says that “Israel alleges Al-Aqra shot and seriously injured an Israeli soldier around two weeks ago, as the army was preparing to invade Qabalan. Since then, the army has been conducting daily invasions and attacks in the town.”

As the army left, the massive D9 bulldozer damaged the village streets and entrances to houses on either side. When it reached the main road, used by Israeli settlers, a flatbed truck was waiting to transport the bulldozer so as not to damage the Israeli road.

According to The Jerusalem Post, an Israeli military spokeswoman said she was aware of troop activity in the area but initially had no further details.

Members of the Al-Aqra family can be seen detained inside a room while Israeli soldiers raid their house in the West Bank village of Qabalan, August 11, 2014.(photo: Activestills.org)
Members of the Al-Aqra family can be seen detained inside a room while Israeli soldiers raid their house in the West Bank village of Qabalan, August 11, 2014.(photo: Activestills.org)

 

An Israeli military bulldozer destroys part of the family home of Zakaria Al-Aqra, age 24, after he was killed by an army raid in the West Bank village of Qabalan, August 11, 2014.(photo: Activestills.org)
An Israeli military bulldozer destroys part of the family home of Zakaria Al-Aqra, age 24, after he was killed by an army raid in the West Bank village of Qabalan, August 11, 2014.(photo: Activestills.org)

 

Damage from bullets and blast fragments cover the walls of the Al-Aqra family home, Qabalan, West Bank, August 11, 2014.(photo: Activestills.org)
Damage from bullets and blast fragments cover the walls of the Al-Aqra family home, Qabalan, West Bank, August 11, 2014.(photo: Activestills.org)

 

The body of Zakaria Al-Aqra, 24, after he was killed by the Israeli army in the West Bank village of Qabalan, Nablus, August 11, 2014. Al-Aqra was wanted by Israel.(photo: Activestills.org)
The body of Zakaria Al-Aqra, 24, after he was killed by the Israeli army in the West Bank village of Qabalan, Nablus, August 11, 2014. Al-Aqra was wanted by Israel.(photo: Activestills.org)

 

A ceiling in the family home of Zakaria al-Aqra, age 24, who was killed by Israeli forces seen in the West Bank village of Qabalan, Nablus, August 11, 2014.(photo: Activestills.org)
A ceiling in the family home of Zakaria al-Aqra, age 24, who was killed by Israeli forces seen in the West Bank village of Qabalan, Nablus, August 11, 2014.(photo: Activestills.org)

 

Members of the Al-Aqra family evacuate their house after it was severely damaged in a raid that killed Zakaria al-Aqra, age 24, Qabalan, West Bank, August 11, 2014. Zakaria was wanted by Israel. Six other people from the family were wounded during the operation which lasted for eight hours.(photo: Activestills.org)
Members of the Al-Aqra family evacuate their house after it was severely damaged in a raid that killed Zakaria al-Aqra, age 24, Qabalan, West Bank, August 11, 2014. Zakaria was wanted by Israel. Six other people from the family were wounded during the operation which lasted for eight hours.(photo: Activestills.org)

 

An Israeli bulldozer drives through the West Bank village of Qabalan, following a raid which killed Zakaria Al-Aqra and badly damaged his family home, August 11, 2014.(photo: Activestills.org)
An Israeli bulldozer drives through the West Bank village of Qabalan, following a raid which killed Zakaria Al-Aqra and badly damaged his family home, August 11, 2014.(photo: Activestills.org)

 

Palestinians assess the damage caused to the family house of Zakaria al-Aqra, age 24, who was killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank village of Qabalan, Nablus, August 11, 2014.(photo: Activestills.org)
Palestinians assess the damage caused to the family house of Zakaria al-Aqra, age 24, who was killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank village of Qabalan, Nablus, August 11, 2014.(photo: Activestills.org)

 

A Palestinian woman shouts at Israeli soldiers during an army operation in which soldiers killed Zakaria al-Aqra, age 24, at his family house in the West Bank village of Qabalan, August 11, 2014. Qabalan village has been raided several times in the last two weeks by the Israeli army.(photo: Activestills.org)
A Palestinian woman shouts at Israeli soldiers during an army operation in which soldiers killed Zakaria al-Aqra, age 24, at his family house in the West Bank village of Qabalan, August 11, 2014. Qabalan village has been raided several times in the last two weeks by the Israeli army.(photo: Activestills.org)

 

A view of the West Bank village of Qabalan through the broken windows of the Al-Aqra family house following an Israeli army raid that killed Zakaria Al-Aqra, age 24, August 11, 2014.(photo: Activestills.org)
A view of the West Bank village of Qabalan through the broken windows of the Al-Aqra family house following an Israeli army raid that killed Zakaria Al-Aqra, age 24, August 11, 2014.(photo: Activestills.org)

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