Israel's policy of demolishing Palestinian terrorists' homes constitutes a war crime and must be halted immediately, rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) said today (November 22, 2014), according to the Times of Israel website.
HRW said the practice "deliberately and unlawfully punishes people not accused of any wrongdoing." Such collective punishment in occupied territory such as the West Bank and East Jerusalem is considered a war crime, HRW stressed.
"It is a basic principle of law that one person should not be punished for another's crime," the group's deputy Middle East and North Africa director Joe Stork said. "Punitive home demolitions are blatantly unlawful. Israel should prosecute, convict, and punish criminals, not carry out vengeful destruction that harms entire families."
"Justifying punishment of people who are not responsible for a criminal act just because they might 'support' it would set a dangerous precedent which could come back to haunt Israelis," HRW warned.