RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Israeli troops on Tuesday demolished the houses of two Palestinians accused of killing an Israeli security guard in an attack outside the West Bank settlement of Ariel in April, authorities said.
Hundreds of protesters threw rocks, burning tyres and Molotov cocktails at the soldiers as they carried out the operation in the West Bank town of Qarawet Bani Hassan, the army said in a statement.
The town's mayor, Ibrahim Assi, denounced the operation and pledged support for the relatives of the two alleged gunmen.
"Home demolition is a policy of collective punishment that violates all international law," Assi told Reuters.
The army statement said the two men had carried out the lethal April 29 attack outside Ariel, one of the largest Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
The two Palestinians are currently in detention, it said.
According to United Nations data, Israeli authorities had demolished 420 Palestinian-owned structures in the West Bank this year as of July 25, compared with 911 for the whole of 2021. The figures include both punitive demolitions and demolitions ordered due to a lack of construction permits.
(Reporting by Ali Sawafta; Editing by Gareth Jones)