Israel destroys homes of Palestinian residents in Jerusalem

Israel carries out demolitions of Palestinian residents homes in act described by critics as collective punishment

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A man inspects the rubble of a Palestinian house which was destroyed by Israeli troops during an Israeli raid in the West Bank city of Jenin on September 1, 2015

Israeli forces have demolished and sealed off the homes of three Palestinians who were allegedly involved in deadly attacks against Israelis in the city last year.

The demolitions took place in the eastern Jerusalem district of Jabal Mukaber on Monday morning.

According to Anadolu Agency, Israeli forces destroyed Bahaa Elayan's home by filling it with concrete who allegedly opened fire on passengers on a bus in October, killing three people. 

Bilal Abu Ganam, another Palestinian reportedly involved in the attack in the Armon Hanatziv neighbourhood, also had his home demolished.

The Palestinians were all shot and killed at the scene.

Israel claims home demolitions, such as Monday's operation, are an effective tool to deter attacks.

Critics say the tactic amounts to collective punishment.

Since Oct. 1, 131 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, while 21 Israelis have been killed in alleged attacks by Palestinians.

While Israel claims 90 of the Palestinians killed were attackers, many Palestinians claim that a significant number of those Palestinians were set up or falsely accused.

Incidents of violence between Israelis and Palestinians have increased since Israeli police carried out a raid on the Al Aqsa Mosque compound, one of the holiest sites in Islam, in September 2015.

The site is also sacred for Jews, who call it the Temple Mount, as they believe it is the location of the Temple of Solomon, which was destroyed by the Babylonians over 2,500 years ago.

Palestinians say the recent violence is the result of frustration from nearly half-a-century of occupation and they accuse Israel of using excessive force to suppress the unrest, while Israel says the unrest has been caused by a Palestinian campaign of lies and provocation surrounding the Al Aqsa Mosque.

TRTWorld and agencies