Ramallah: The Israeli regime has decided to demolish 83 family homes of Palestinian attackers as a punitive measure for stabbing, shooting and vehicular attacks in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank denying the Palestinian families the chance to petition the Israeli Higher Court of Justice.
According to the Hebrew daily, the Yedioth Ahronoth, the Palestinian homes which came on the Israeli governmental list belong to Palestinians who carried out attacks against Israeli targets.
Punitive home demolitions have been revived by Israel after the measure was halted in 2005 (the end of the second intifada) amid escalating violence which erupted through the Palestinian territories and Israel. Since the beginning of October, 168 Palestinians and 27 Israelis have been killed.
The government decision came on the heels of an angry statement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who vowed to crack down on Palestinian attacks. Palestinians unleashed a string of attacks after being frustrated over Israeli raids of the Muslim holy site Al Haram Al Sharif in occupied East Jerusalem.
Statistically, home demolitions do not curb the number of stabbing attacks against Israelis but actually increase them.
“Home demolitions exacerbate escalating tensions as families, relatives and friends of attackers become full of hate, fury and rage after the homes of attackers are bulldozed,” said Dr Abdul Sattar Qasem, a political analyst in the West Bank.
“Home demolition is just another way to increase the number of revenge attacks. Had it been an effective measure of deterrence, the situation would have become calmer.”
Once home demolition notice is given to family of the attacker, the Palestinians launch a charity initiative to raise funds for rebuilding the homes to be demolished. Local activists usually raise more than the families of attackers need to rebuild their bulldozed homes.