In razing homes, Israel revives tough punishment

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In razing homes, Israel revives tough punishment
Israeli border police officers stand guard as a house is demolished in the Wesk Bank Jewish settlement of Maaleh Rehavam, Wednesday, May 14, 2014. Israel's Supreme Court ruled that the land the houses were built on belong to Palestinians. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 19: (CHINA OUT, SOUTH KOREA OUT) Relatives of Palestinian attackers who killed two Isrealis last month are seen at their demolished house on November 19, 2014 in Jerusalem, Isreal. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 19: (CHINA OUT, SOUTH KOREA OUT) Relatives of Palestinian attackers who killed two Isrealis last month are seen at their demolished house on November 19, 2014 in Jerusalem, Isreal. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)
JERUSALEM NOVEMBER 19: A car is damaged as Israeli forces demolishes the home of Palestinian AbdelRahman al-Shaludi, blamed for killing two Israelis in a deadly vehicular attack last month, in Silwan neighborhood, east Jerusalem on November 19, 2014. (Photo by Salih Zeki Fazlioglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
File - In this Nov. 19, 2014 file photo Palestinians hang national flag inside the demolished apartment of Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi in east Jerusalem on. Israeli authorities demolished the apartment as a punitive measure after al-Shaludi's deadly attack with his car on a Jerusalem train station last month which left two people dead. Israel says it is resuming demolitions because it needs more tools to stop a recent wave of Palestinian attacks on Jews. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean, File)
File - In this Nov. 18, 2014 file photos Israeli police stand guard outside the home of cousins Ghassan and Oday Abu Jamal in east Jerusalem. The Abu Jamal cousins stormed a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday, attacking worshippers with meat cleavers and a gun during morning prayers killing four people and a policeman. The family received a notice from the Israeli authorities that their house will be razed. Israel says it is resuming demolitions because it needs more tools to stop a recent wave of Palestinian attacks on Jews. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean, File)
JERUSALEM NOVEMBER 19: Relatives of Palestinian AbdelRahman al-Shaludi, blamed for killing two Israelis in a deadly vehicular attack last month, inspect the their family home after it was destroyed by Israeli forces in Silwan neighborhood, east Jerusalem on November 19, 2014. (Photo by Salih Zeki Fazlioglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
File - In this Nov. 18, 2014 file photo, paramedics carry a body out of a synagogue after an attack in Har Nof, an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood on the western edge of Jerusalem, Tuesday. Two Palestinian cousins stormed the Jerusalem synagogue attacking worshippers with meat cleavers and a gun during morning prayers and killing four people and a policeman. Israel says it is resuming demolitions because it needs more tools to stop a recent wave of Palestinian attacks on Jews. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean, File)
JERUSALEM NOVEMBER 19: Nibraz al-Shaludi (14), sister of Palestinian AbdelRahman al-Shaludi blamed for killing two Israelis in a deadly vehicular attack last month, inspects the damage at her family home after it was destroyed by Israeli forces in Silwan neighborhood, east Jerusalem on November 19, 2014. (Photo by Salih Zeki Fazlioglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM NOVEMBER 19: A Palestinian girl looks at the damaged home of Palestinian AbdelRahman al-Shaludi, blamed for killing two Israelis in a deadly vehicular attack last month, after it was destroyed by Israeli forces in Silwan neighborhood, east Jerusalem on November 19, 2014. (Photo by Salih Zeki Fazlioglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM NOVEMBER 19: A car is damaged as Israeli forces demolishes the home of Palestinian AbdelRahman al-Shaludi, blamed for killing two Israelis in a deadly vehicular attack last month, in Silwan neighborhood, east Jerusalem on November 19, 2014. (Photo by Salih Zeki Fazlioglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM NOVEMBER 19: Relatives of Palestinian AbdelRahman al-Shaludi, blamed for killing two Israelis in a deadly vehicular attack last month, inspect the their family home after it was destroyed by Israeli forces in Silwan neighborhood, east Jerusalem on November 19, 2014. (Photo by Salih Zeki Fazlioglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Masked Palestinians hold knifes and axes as they celebrate an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue while standing in front of a poster of the attackers,Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal, during a rally in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip November 18, 2014. Two Palestinians armed with a gun and meat cleavers burst into a Jerusalem synagogue and killed four Israelis before being shot dead in the bloodiest attack in the city in years. AFP PHOTO/ SAID KHATIB (Photo credit should read SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images)
Two youths look at bullet holes and forensic evidence inside a synagogue after an attack in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014. Two Palestinians stormed a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday, attacking worshippers praying inside with knives, axes and guns, and killing four people before they were killed in a shootout with police, officials said. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Ultra-Orthodox Jews carry the body of Mosheh Twersky during his funeral in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014. Two Palestinian cousins armed with meat cleavers and a gun stormed a Jerusalem synagogue during morning prayers Tuesday, killing Twersky and three others n the city's bloodiest attack in years. Police killed the attackers in a shootout. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 18: (ISRAEL OUT) (EDITOR'S NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT) This handout image supplied by the Israeli Government Press Office (GPO), shows a view of the scene of a shooting at a Synagogue where a suspected Palestinian attack took place on November 18, 2014 in Jerusalem, Israel. Four Israelis have been killed and several others wounded in a terror attack this morning in a synagogue in the western Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof. Two Palestinian assailants were killed at the scene by police. (Photo by Kobi Gideon / GPO via Getty Images)
In memory of Rabbi Twersky HY'D, beloved rebbi/teacher/mentor to thousands at Toras Moshe ("To-Mo"). http://t.co/fADVpmGirE
Rabbi Moshe Twersky Laid To Rest - http://t.co/rk9CXR4nj9 http://t.co/s74reo90o0
Mourners attend funeral of Rabbi Moshe Twersky, killed in #Jerusalem terror attack today http://t.co/8ZjHJYczzd http://t.co/tKDUewbIZg
Liverpool rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg killed in Jerusalem terror attack caught on film http://t.co/Tj1PnShFhI http://t.co/3YWRK8KPUQ
This frame grab from an APTN video shows the scene in Jersualem where two Palestinians stormed a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, attacking worshippers praying inside with knives, axes and guns, and killing four. Police killed the attackers in a shootout. (AP Photo/APTN)
Israeli security forces secure the scene on November 18, 2014, after two Palestinians attacked a synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighbourhood in Jerusalem. The attack, that killed four Israelis, began shortly before 7am (0500 GMT) as worshippers were attending morning prayers. AFP PHOTO / GALI TIBBON (Photo credit should read GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli security forces secure the scene after two Palestinians attacked a synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighbourhood in Jerusalem on November 18, 2014. The attack, that killed four Israelis, began shortly before 7am (0500 GMT) as worshippers were attending morning prayers. AFP PHOTO / GALI TIBBON (Photo credit should read GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)
Ultra-orthodox Jews watch the scene on November 18, 2014, after two Palestinians attacked a synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighbourhood in Jerusalem. The attack, that killed four Israelis, began shortly before 7am (0500 GMT) as worshippers were attending morning prayers. AFP PHOTO / GALI TIBBON (Photo credit should read GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)
GRAPHIC CONTENT Israeli Zaka emergency services volunteers evacuate the body of one of two Palestinian assailants who were shot dead while attacking a synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighbourhood in Jerusalem on November 18, 2014. The attack, that killed four Israelis, began shortly before 7am (0500 GMT) as worshippers were attending morning prayers. AFP PHOTO / GALI TIBBON (Photo credit should read GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli security forces stand next to the body of one of two Palestinian assailants who were shot dead while attacking a synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighbourhood in Jerusalem on November 18, 2014. The attack, that killed four Israelis, began shortly before 7am (0500 GMT) as worshippers were attending morning prayers. AFP PHOTO / GALI TIBBON (Photo credit should read GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli Zaka emergency services volunteers carry the body of a Palestinian assailant who was shot dead while attacking a synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighbourhood in Jerusalem on November 18, 2014. Two Palestinians armed with a gun and axes attacked a Jerusalem synagogue killing four Israelis, police said. AFP PHOTO / GALI TIBBON (Photo credit should read GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli Zaka emergency services volunteers carry the body of one of the two Palestinian assailants who were shot dead while attacking a synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighbourhood in Jerusalem on November 18, 2014. The attack, that killed four Israelis, began shortly before 7am (0500 GMT) as worshippers were attending morning prayers. AFP PHOTO / GALI TIBBON (Photo credit should read GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)
A bullet hole and forensic evidence are seen in side the Synagogue at the site of an attack in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014. Two Palestinians stormed a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday, attacking worshippers praying inside with knives, axes and guns, and killing four people before they were killed in a shootout with police, officials said. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
An Israeli police officer escorts an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man near the scene of a shooting attack in a Synagogue in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014. Two Palestinians stormed a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday, attacking worshippers praying inside with knives, axes and guns, and killing four people before they were killed in a shootout with police, officials said. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
Holy books, blood stains and forensic evidence remain inside the Synagogue that came under attack in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014. Two Palestinians stormed a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday, attacking worshippers praying inside with knives, axes and guns, and killing four people before they were killed in a shootout with police, officials said.(AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Israeli border policewomen stand near the scene of a shooting attack in a Synagogue in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014. Two Palestinians stormed a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday, attacking worshippers praying inside with knives, axes and guns, and killing four people before they were killed in a shootout with police, officials said. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
A bullet hole and forensic evidence remain inside the Synagogue after an attack in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014. Two Palestinians stormed a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday, attacking worshippers praying inside with knives, axes and guns, and killing four people before they were killed in a shootout with police, officials said. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
A Palestinian woman throws sweets as she celebrates an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue while standing near a poster of the attackers,Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal, during a rally in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on November 18, 2014. Two Palestinians armed with a gun and meat cleavers burst into a Jerusalem synagogue and killed four Israelis before being shot dead in the bloodiest attack in the city in years. AFP PHOTO/ SAID KHATIB (Photo credit should read SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images)
Masked Palestinians hold knifes and axes as they celebrate an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue during a rally in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip November 18, 2014. Two Palestinians armed with a gun and meat cleavers burst into a Jerusalem synagogue and killed four Israelis before being shot dead in the bloodiest attack in the city in years. AFP PHOTO/ SAID KHATIB (Photo credit should read SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images)
A Palestinian Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) supporter distributes sweets as he celebrates an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip on November 18, 2014. Two Palestinians armed with a gun and meat cleavers burst into a Jerusalem synagogue and killed four Israelis before being shot dead in the bloodiest attack in the city in years. AFP PHOTO/ MOHAMMED ABED (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)
A masked Palestinian holds a knife as he celebrates an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue while standing next to a poster of the attackers,Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal, during a rally in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip November 18, 2014. Two Palestinians armed with a gun and meat cleavers burst into a Jerusalem synagogue and killed four Israelis before being shot dead in the bloodiest attack in the city in years. AFP PHOTO/ SAID KHATIB (Photo credit should read SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images)
An Israli security member stands outside a synagogue that was attacked by two Palestinians earlier in the morning in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighbourhood in Jerusalem on November 18, 2014. Two Palestinians armed with a gun and meat cleavers burst into a Jerusalem synagogue and killed four Israelis before being shot dead in the bloodiest attack in the city in years. AFP PHOTO/ JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
An Ultra-orthodox Jewish man walks past synagogue, with bullet holes in the window, that was attacked by two Palestinians earlier in the morning in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighbourhood in Jerusalem on November 18, 2014. Two Palestinians armed with a gun and meat cleavers burst into a Jerusalem synagogue and killed four Israelis before being shot dead in the bloodiest attack in the city in years. AFP PHOTO/ JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 18: (EDITORS NOTE: Image contains graphic content.) Israeli police crime scene investigators stand near bodies of suspected attackers outside a synagogue on November 18, 2014 in Jerusalem, Israel. Four Israelis have been killed and several others wounded in a terror attack this morning in a synagogue in the western Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof. Two Palestinian assailants were killed at the scene by police. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 18: Israeli emergency personnel clean the site outside a synagogue on November 18, 2014 in Jerusalem, Israel. Four Israelis have been killed and several others wounded in a terror attack this morning in a synagogue in the western Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof. Two Palestinian assailants were killed at the scene by police. (Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 18: Israeli orthodox examines car outside a synagogue on November 18, 2014 in Jerusalem, Israel. Four Israelis have been killed and several others wounded in a terror attack this morning in a synagogue in the western Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof. Two Palestinian assailants were killed at the scene by police.(Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 18: Israeli emergency personnel clean the site outside a synagogue on November 18, 2014 in Jerusalem, Israel. Four Israelis have been killed and several others wounded in a terror attack this morning in a synagogue in the western Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof. Two Palestinian assailants were killed at the scene by police. (Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)
An Israeli emergency services member cleans the sidewalk at the scene of an attack, by two Palestinians, on Israeli worshippers at a synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighbourhood in Jerusalem on November 18, 2014. Two Palestinians armed with a gun and axes burst into a Jerusalem synagogue and killed four Israelis before being shot dead, in the deadliest attack in the city in years.AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
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JERUSALEM (AP) -- In razing family homes of Palestinian attackers, Israel is reviving a draconian punishment it largely halted a decade ago as ineffective and counterproductive.

Israel says it is resuming the demolitions - condemned by human rights groups as a violation of international law - because it needs more tools to stop a recent wave of Palestinian attacks on Jews.

Such arguments elicit anger and defiance in Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem, home of six recent assailants, including two cousins who killed five people in a synagogue last week. Some residents said oppressive Israeli policies are to blame for growing tensions in the city.

Violence "will only stop when they end the occupation," said Enas Shalodi, 43, whose fourth-floor apartment near Jerusalem's Old City was wrecked by troops with hammers and explosives last week.

Her son Abdel Rahman, 21, drove his car into a Jerusalem train station Oct. 22, killing a 3-month-old girl and a tourist before being shot dead at the scene. His mother insists it was an accident, despite video showing the car slowing down, turning off the road and appearing to accelerate into the crowd.

Human rights groups say razing homes as a deterrent amounts to collective punishment and violates the rules that govern occupied territories, such as east Jerusalem - captured by Israel in 1967, along with the West Bank and Gaza.

"This is a deliberate policy of punishing the innocent," said Sarit Michaeli of B'Tselem, an Israeli human rights group. "This is completely unacceptable in a country that aims to be a democracy."

Government spokesman Mark Regev said homeowners can fight demolition orders in court.

"We need more tools in our tool box," said Regev. "How does one deter an individual who doesn't care about his own life or the lives of people he is about to murder? The security services firmly believe that this can be an effective deterrent."

Israel has demolished hundreds of Palestinian homes as punishment since 1967, along with thousands more that were razed for other reasons, such as lack of building permits, which Palestinians say are difficult to obtain from Israel.

Tensions Rise as Palestinian Killed on Gaza Border, Home Torched in West Bank
Between 1987 and 2005, a period encompassing two Palestinian uprisings, Israel destroyed 1,115 Palestinian homes as punishment, partially demolished 64 and sealed or partially sealed 417, according to B'Tselem.

In February 2005, Israel's then-defense minister, Shaul Mofaz, ordered demolitions suspended. An army committee concluded at the time that the practice had not deterred attackers but had instead inflamed hatred. The suspension came after four years in which Palestinian bombers and gunmen killed more than 1,000 Israelis.

Now tensions are rising again, particularly in Jerusalem, against the backdrop of growing Palestinian discontent. Palestinians in the city complain of official discrimination and fear Israel is marginalizing them further with settlements and a separation barrier slicing through Arab neighborhoods.

Religious passions among Muslims - the vast majority of the city's Palestinians - have been stoked by demands from some members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition to allow Jewish worship at a major Jerusalem shrine that is run by Muslims but is sacred to both faiths.

In this climate, lone Palestinian assailants have struck repeatedly in Jerusalem.

In August, the driver of a construction vehicle ran over and killed an inspector at a building site.

In October, a week after the attack by Shalodi, a waiter shot and severely wounded a rabbi who has been pushing for Jewish prayer rights at the contested holy site. In early November, a motorist slammed a minivan into a crowd waiting at a train station, killing two people.

Last week, cousins Ghassan and Oday Abu Jamal, wielding meat cleavers, knives and a handgun killed four Jewish worshippers and a policeman in the synagogue attack.

All six assailants were shot dead by security forces on the spot and Netanyahu ordered their family homes demolished.

Cabinet minister Yaakov Peri, a former head of Israel's Shin Bet security service, said lone assailants can't be stopped with conventional means.

"The only solution is very strong deterrence of a pinpoint nature," said Peri, adding that house demolitions would have to be carried out quickly to be effective.

Shalodi's home was the first to be destroyed because his family did not appeal. The other five families have submitted appeals and will go to the Supreme Court if needed, their lawyers said.

Israel's high court has overwhelmingly ruled against Palestinian homeowners in the past, according to B'Tselem.

Enas Shalodi, her husband and six children lived in an apartment in a five-story building that houses six other families, all in-laws. The Shalodis have moved next door into a brother-in-law's apartment that is vacant until April or May, but she said she has no money to pay rent once her relatives reclaim their home. Her old apartment is gutted, with debris strewn on the floor and holes blown into outer walls.

The family of Oday Abu Jamal, 22, has already removed most belongings from their three-bedroom home in the Jabal Mukaber neighborhood.

The demolition will displace eight people, said Oday's mother Fatima, 53.

This includes herself, her husband, four unmarried children, a sister-in-law and a bedridden mother-in-law. The elderly woman, bundled in blankets, lay on a bed in a dark room in the house.

Fatima said she had been unaware of her son's plan to attack the synagogue, describing him as a quiet young man who worked as a laborer. She blocked questions about the gruesome nature of his act.

In her grief, she appeared almost indifferent to the likely loss of her home.

"My son is gone," she said. "I want my son, not the house. They come to demolish the house? Let them."

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