A Palestinian family on Thursday said that the Israel Defense Forces demolished their house in the West Bank city of Hebron without giving them an explanation why, one of the family members said.

An Israeli army spokesman described the demolition, which destroyed the home of two brothers and their families, as a "military operation" but declined to comment further.

Such incidents have been rare in recent years in modern parts of Hebron away from the historic Old City, where tensions have long run high between Palestinians and Jews.

Faisal Karameh, 31, one of the two brothers, told Reuters that soldiers forced the occupants from the house at gunpoint during the morning. After he told them his 39-year-old brother Jamal was not present, the IDF demolished the two-story building.

"We had no idea what they were doing," Karameh said. "My brother Jamal is a maintenance worker and a peaceful person."

A Palestinian security source in the city south of Jerusalem said the families had no known record of militant activity.

According to Palestinian estimates, the IDF has demolished nearly 3,000 houses in the past eight years, many on the grounds that they lacked building permits.