Israel security chiefs call for killers' homes to be pulled down

Jerusalem

Israel's security services are calling for the punitive demolition of the family homes of two Palestinian men who murdered several members of a Jewish settler family more than a year ago.

The move, if approved, would signal the revival of a controversial policy ended in 2005 after the Israeli military concluded that house demolitions failed to deter Palestinian terror attacks, and instead led to greater resistance. The Israeli human rights groups B'Tselem slammed the recommendation as an "absolutely immoral" form of collective punishment, pointing out that international law forbids the punishment of family members for crimes that their relatives committed.

The measure, proposed by the Shin Bet domestic security service, reportedly has the approval from the Defence Minister, Ehud Barak. Nevertheless, it must first receive legal approval, and is to be discussed by the Attorney General's office in coming weeks.

Last March, cousins Amjad and Hakim Awad stole into Itamar, a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, and stabbed to death five members of the Fogel family, including a three-month-old baby.

The two men, who came from the nearby Palestinian village of Awarta, were sentenced to multiple life terms.

"This is one of the most brutal terrorist attacks ever, and the Shin Bet thinks that demolition is a punitive step that may deter other terrorists from carrying out such tragic crimes," Army Radio quoted Shin Bet's former head, Yaakov Perry, as saying.

But some within the military oppose the move, fearing it would be seen as vengeance and would lead to clashes in the West Bank.

Shin Bet claims members of the killers' family protected them, and may have hidden or destroyed evidence. Rights groups say that if that is the case, Israel should prosecute and bring to trial those it suspects.

"People are meant to be punished for their actions, not the actions of family members," said Sarit Michaeli, a spokeswoman for B'Tselem. "This is the most brutal form of collective punishment possible. It's illegal and absolutely immoral."

l Two Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike for 70 days had their appeal for release from detention without charge rejected by Israel's Supreme Court yesterday. The Israeli group Physicians for Human Rights said the court's decision to turn down the appeals of Bilal Diab, 27, and Thaer Halahla, 34, was an effective "death sentence".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Account Manager / Membership Manager

£35 - 38k + Benefits & Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Account Manager ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Services Advisor / Administrator

£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This position will in the main ...

Recruitment Genius: Ecommerce Assistant

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the top Cosmeceutical br...

Guru Careers: Software Developer / Web Developer

£350 p/d (Contract): Guru Careers: A Software Developer / Web Developer (PHP /...

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks