Israeli forces on Sunday (January 29th) sealed the family home of a Palestinian who killed seven people on Friday 27th, with a view to destroying it, after the government announced measures aimed at punishing the relatives of the perpetrators of the attacks. .

In the aftermath of the deadliest Israeli raid in years in the occupied West Bank, followed by rocket fire from Gaza into Israel and retaliatory Israeli airstrikes, a Palestinian killed seven people in East Jerusalem on Friday.

On Saturday another wounded two Israelis and on Sunday Israeli guards killed a Palestinian in the West Bank.

The violence raises fears of a new spiral and calls for restraint have multiplied from abroad.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, after Cairo, is expected in Jerusalem and Ramallah on Monday and Tuesday to discuss measures for de-escalation.

The head of Russian diplomacy Sergei Lavrov asked during telephone interviews with his Israeli and Palestinian counterparts, to avoid "any action likely to cause further deterioration".

French President Emmanuel Macron for his part urged Israelis and Palestinians on Sunday to "avoid measures likely to fuel the spiral of violence", according to a press release from the Elysee.

After the anti-Israeli attacks in East Jerusalem, the part of the Holy City occupied and annexed by Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday promised a "strong" response.

His security cabinet, convened in an emergency, immediately announced that the house of Khayri Alqam, 21, author of the attack which killed six Israelis and a Ukrainian near a synagogue before being shot on Friday, "would be sealed immediately before its demolition".

On Sunday, Israeli soldiers sealed off the entrances to the house after Palestinians took their belongings out.

Khayri Alqam's mother has been held with four other people in custody, police say, of the 42 suspects arrested after Friday's shooting in the settlement neighborhood of Neve Yaacov.

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The government went further on Sunday by deciding to seal off the home of the author of Saturday's attack in East Jerusalem, even though it did not cause any deaths.

Israel so far only demolished the homes of Palestinians who kill Israelis.

And that process involved giving notice to the families and an appeals process.

But in Khayri Alqam's case, the house was quickly sealed off without notice or appeal, a move "taken in complete disregard of the rule of law", according to Dani Shenhar of the Israeli rights organization HaMoke humans.

For Israel, the demolition of the homes of Palestinians accused of attacks has a deterrent effect, but critics of this practice denounce it as collective punishment.

The government has also announced the "revocation of rights" to social security of "families of terrorists supporting terrorism".

And revoking the Israeli identity cards of the attackers' relatives was on the agenda of the weekly government meeting on Sunday.

These measures apply to Palestinians with Israeli nationality, such as Israeli Arabs, and to Palestinians with resident status in East Jerusalem.

They are in line with the proposals of Mr. Netanyahu's far-right political partners.

The security cabinet has also decided to make it easier for civilians to obtain gun licenses.

"Death Spiral"

The Palestinian attacks in East Jerusalem, which have not been claimed, came after 10 Palestinians, including fighters and a woman in her 60s, died Thursday in an Israeli military raid in Jenin in the West Bank, Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967 , the bloodiest of recent years.

And the violence has not stopped.

On Sunday, Israeli security guards killed an 18-year-old Palestinian man near an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, according to Palestinian authorities.

The army claimed he was armed.

A Palestinian house and vehicle in the West Bank village of Turmus Ayya were set on fire.

An Israeli security official blamed Israeli extremists.

According to the official Palestinian agency Wafa, 120 cars were the target of stones thrown by Israeli settlers and 22 shops were attacked in Nablus in the West Bank on Saturday evening.

“The spiral of death that grows day by day extinguishes the rare glimmers of trust that exist between the two peoples,” Pope Francis lamented.

With AFP

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