Hundreds of Israeli soldiers and police were deployed on Wednesday in illegally occupied east Jerusalem to demolish the home of Ibrahim al-Akari, a Palestinian who allegedly carried out a ramming attack in November 2014.
The latest demolition order of the Israeli High Court came along with one veto of another planned demolition. The court ruled against the demolishment of family of Nur al-Din Hashiya, who allegedly carried out a stabbing attack against an Israeli soldier after Hashiya’s family objected to the order issued 11 months after the attack because it had no real purpose.
The new tactic of demolishing the houses of families of alleged attackers has been revived by the Israeli government to punish the families of attackers as well as punishing them and prevent future attacks in east Jerusalem which is under Israeli occupation.
However, such demolitions are strongly condemned by human rights groups as previous demolitions opened way to clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians.
Moreover, some Israelis question its effectiveness as a deterrent while Palestinian residents slam the collective punishment saying that it only encourages retaliation.
In early 2015, a petition was started by more than 400 Rabbis from around the world demanding Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop the “punitive demolitions” stating that those demolitions were conflicting with “international law and Jewish tradition”.
A UN report released in September revealed that Israel plans to demolish up to 13,000 buildings, most of them private properties owned by civilians in the occupied West Bank.
Last month, Israeli soldiers shot dead at least two Palestinian civilians after another demolition of an alleged Palestinian attackers' family house caused outrage and triggered heavy clashes in West Bank.
Human Rights Watch demanded Israeli authorities to stop demolition orders as they punish “people not accused of any wrongdoings”.
United Nation’s special rappoteur on adequate housing Leila Farha also called on the Israeli government to halt the demolitions.
“Simply put: the use of house demolition as a punitive measure is a form of collective punishment contrary to international law. Israel must immediately end its use of this devastating practice.” she said.