JERUSALEM: Human Rights Watch called on Israel Saturday to stop razing the homes of Palestinians accused of attacking Israelis, saying the practice can constitute a war crime. “Israel should impose an immediate moratorium on its policy of demolishing the family homes of Palestinians suspected of carrying out attacks on Israelis,” the New York-based group said, as the fate of three houses slated for demolition awaits a court ruling.

“The policy, which Israeli officials claim is a deterrent, deliberately and unlawfully punishes people not accused of any wrongdoing. When carried out in occupied territory, including east Jerusalem, it amounts to collective punishment, a war crime.”

The east Jerusalem families of Muataz Hijazi, and of cousins Uday and Ghassan Abu Jamal, killed by police after two separate attacks in west Jerusalem, have been served demolition orders on their homes but have appealed. Their lawyer, Mohammed Mahmud, said in a statement that an Israeli military court would hear their petition on Sunday morning. Hijazi was accused of shooting and critically wounding a far-right Jewish activist on Oct. 29. Police shot him dead during a raid on his home in Abu Tor the following morning.

The Abu Jamals, from Jabal Mukaber, were shot dead Tuesday after they attacked a synagogue with meat cleavers and a pistol, killing four rabbis at prayer and a policeman who responded. On Wednesday, Israeli forces razed the east Jerusalem home of a Palestinian who killed two Israelis with his car last month… see more

source: arabnews