Israel begins demolishing homes over attacks

JERUSALEM: Israel has demolished the East Jerusalem home of a Palestinian who carried out a deadly October attack, just hours after Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli prime minister, warned of strict security measures in response to Tuesday's synagogue killings in Jerusalem.

The house demolished on Wednesday in the Silwan neighbourhood near the Old City belonged to Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi, who last month killed two people among a crowd standing on a light rail platform in Jerusalem.

Four families who lived in the building - including that of al-Shaludi - had to evacuate, Al Jazeera's Dalia Hatuqa reported from occupied East Jerusalem, adding that the entire neighbourhood was closed off by Israeli security forces.

Al Jazeera's Stefanie Dekker, reporting from outside the demolished house, said people in the area considered the Israeli action as a form of collective punishment - "a wider way to punish - even the extended family".

Punitive demolition was a tactic frequently employed by Israeli security forces before defence chiefs decided to suspend it in 2005 after concluding that it was not an effective deterrent.

Since then the policy has been used occasionally - three times in East Jerusalem in 2009, and three times over the summer in response to the killing of an Israeli policeman and the murder of three Israeli teenagers.

Rubble of family home

Sitting amid the rubble of the family home in Silwan on Wednesday, al-Shaludi's grandmother said: "No one should feel sorry for us, for our demolished home."

She said she was proud of al-Shaludi's actions. The October attack killed a three-month-old baby girl and a 22-year-old woman as he drove his car into the train stop before he was shot by Israeli police.

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