In Response To Attacks, Israel Takes Down Palestinian Homes : Parallels After a deadly attack by a Palestinian militant last month, Israel blew up his apartment. Israel says the aim is deterrence, while others call it collective punishment.

In Response To Attacks, Israel Takes Down Palestinian Homes

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's vowed to speed up home demolitions to punish attackers following a deadly attack on a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday. The next day Israeli soldiers destroyed the apartment of a Palestinian who killed two people in a separate attack last month when he drove his car into a crowd before police killed him. NPR's Emily Harris reports.

EMILY HARRIS, BYLINE: When Israeli soldiers came to destroy her East Jerusalem apartment, Enas Shaludi says they didn't ring the bell.

ENAS SHALUDI: They only pushed the door and rushed to the house and began to scream.

HARRIS: It was half past midnight. Her husband was in the bathroom, she says.

E. SHALUDI: I keep shouting at him come out, come out, hurry, hurry, hurry. They will beat us. He came out. He didn't even wash his hands.

HARRIS: The Shaludi's 20-year-old son, Abdel Rahman killed two people with a car last month. Israel warned the family their home would be destroyed in response. So the parents, with their now five children, had moved out their belongings and were sleeping in a relative's apartment on the same floor.


HARRIS: The front outside wall of the destroyed apartment was now gone. Soldiers also blew up most interior walls. Tamir Shaludi, an uncle of the attacker, lives one floor up.

TAMIR SHALUDI: (Foreign language spoken).

HARRIS: He worries his apartment is no longer structurally sound. And he says soldiers kicked in his door and ransacked his apartment.

T. SHALUDI: (Through translator) I'm very upset at what happened to my brother's apartment, but I'm even angrier that I'm punished too because I have never had one thought of even picking up a stone and throwing it at Israelis.

HARRIS: Not far away the West Jerusalem of Har Nof is recovering from Tuesday's synagogue attack where five Israelis died. Young father Abraham Dick is studying to be a rabbi.

ABRAHAM DICK: Obviously everybody's still in pain.

HARRIS: Israel plans to do destroy the family homes of two Palestinian attackers. Dick says he wishes Israel didn't have to.

DICK: We never are in favor of aggression. But I would be in favor of it if that's what it takes to save lives.

HARRIS: Israel almost stopped such home destructions after military leaders questioned the effectiveness a decade ago. According to the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem, Israel destroyed 650 family homes of attackers between 2001 and 2004. Since then, six. Now the practice is coming back.

RABBI DOV LIPMAN: I know that to the world it looks vindictive that we destroy their homes and collective punishment.

HARRIS: But member of Parliament Dov Lipman says it works.

LIPMAN: We know from interrogations over the years that there are young people who do not carry out terror attacks because they know that there will be implications for their families. The moment we know that, we have to do it again.

HARRIS: Enas Shaludi isn't sure where her family will live now. But she tells her kids that God will give them beautiful houses in heaven. Emily Harris, NPR News, Jerusalem.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.