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Israel court halts razing of Palestinian militant homes

Following the court’s injunction, Netanyahu stressed home demolitions were ‘one of the most efficient tools’ in discouraging attacks

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Israel’s High Court has issued injunctions blocking the demolition of six West Bank homes belonging to Palestinians accused of killing Israelis.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this month pledged to expedite punitive house demolitions, as part of measures to combat a recent wave of violence.

Since October 15, Israeli authorities have issued nine demolition orders for homes of suspected Palestinian militants in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

READ ALSO: Palestinian, Israeli rights groups condemn home demolitions

The army had been set Thursday to demolish the homes of the alleged Palestinian killers of two Israelis shot in the occupied West Bank on October 1, as well as those accused of murdering two Israelis in June.

But following petitions by family members and neighbours, the court issued “temporary orders” preventing the structures from being demolished or confiscated.

Israeli rights group Hamoked, which filed the petitions, said a court hearing on the issue was set for October 29.

Home demolitions were “disproportionate, and lacked balance between the alleged benefit of deterring potential assailants and the harm caused by demolishing the homes of entire families,” Hamoked said.

Following the court’s injunction, Netanyahu stressed home demolitions were “one of the most efficient tools” in discouraging Palestinian attacks, even in the case of suicide attackers, and expressed hope the court would rule on the issue as soon as possible.