Feature

No more demolitions

The week's news at a glance.

Jerusalem

Israel said this week that it would stop demolishing the homes of Palestinian suicide bombers, reversing a much-criticized practice. The demolitions were supposed to be a deterrent; a bomber who did not fear his own death might, the Israelis reasoned, want to spare his family from homelessness. But the military concluded that the demolitions were counterproductive, because they radicalized previously moderate Palestinians. “This is good,” said Palestinian activist Mustafa Barghouti. “It was innocent people who were most often harmed.” Since the current Palestinian uprising began, in 2000, Israel has demolished 675 houses in retaliation for attacks. In addition, several thousand houses have been destroyed because they were allegedly used as bases for militants; demolitions on those grounds will continue.

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