• March 17, 2008

B’Tselem: Israel demolished 667 Palestinian homes as mass punishment

B’Tselem: Israel demolished 667 Palestinian homes as mass punishment

B”Tselem, the Israeli information center for human rights in the occupied Palestinian lands, stated that the IOA had demolished as a mass punishment 667 Palestinian homes, since October 2001 until the end of January 2005, in the West Bank rendering more than 4,200 Palestinians homeless.

B”Tselem pointed out that half of these demolished houses were next door to the house of the person(s) who had been suspected or wanted by the Israeli occupation.

An ad hoc committee formed by Israeli general Moshe Ya”alon had recommended that demolition of houses of suspects in carrying out operations against Israel should be stopped because it is not an effective deterrence.

In this regard, B”Tselem called for preventing the demolition of the house of Alaa Abu Dehim who carried out the Jerusalem attack.

Hebrew media outlets said that the Israeli internal security minister had issued orders to the police to work on the demolition of the house of Abu Dehim”s family, adding that war minister Ehud Barak supported the demolition decision.

In contrast, Barak approved a decision to resume the construction of about 132 settlement units in the northern West Bank and near occupied Jerusalem as part of a series of resolutions to promote settlement activities.

The Israeli Jerusalem Post newspaper reported that the war ministry kept its promises to Israeli settlers in the Ari”il settlement, one of the biggest settlements in the northern West Bank, and allowed the resumption of building 48 new units the construction of which was frozen last November.

The spokesman for the war ministry had confirmed to the newspaper that the freeze decision to establish 48 settlement units would be ended and the construction would resume.

The Israeli government also endorsed the building of 52 settlement units in the Ma”aleh Adumim settlement in occupied Jerusalem and 32 units in the settlements of Betar Illit, Sha”are Tikvah and Kana.

For their part, Chiefs of Israeli settlements underlined that these projects are small if compared with the real needs of settlement units!