Timeline: Punitive Home Demolitions

By Annie Slemrod in Jerusalem

As tensions run high in Jerusalem and the West Bank, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for “expediting the demolition of terrorists’ homes” and the Israeli army appears to be acting in tandem, razing two Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem overnight Monday.

The demolitions added fuel to the fire in East Jerusalem, where clashes have taken place since Israel barred many Palestinians from the old city over the weekend. The ban came after a Palestinian man stabbed two Israelis to death in the old city and another Israeli was wounded in a separate stabbing.

The newly destroyed homes belonged to the families of Ghassan Abu Jamal and Mohammad Jabis. Abu Jamal and an accomplice attacked a Jerusalem synagogue in November 2014, killing four. He was shot dead by police. Jaabis was also shot dead after driving a tractor into a bus in August 2014, killing one.

Amnesty International has called punitive home demolition “flagrant collective punishment.” Israel halted the practice in 2005, but it appears to be back with a vengeance.  IRIN looks at the history of Israel's controversial anti-terror tactic: