Israel has rejected an appeal by the five biggest members of the European Union not to raze the homes of Palestinians who carried out lethal attacks in Yerushalayim, saying that the tactic was designed to deter further violence.
The Foreign Ministry heard arguments from the German, French, British, Italian and Spanish ambassadors that the demolitions, carried out against one eastern Yerushalayim dwelling this week and planned against four more, were liable to inflame tensions and were therefore counterproductive, Haaretz said
Confirming Thursday’s meeting with the envoys, Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said they were told that the measure was consistent with Israeli law and would be pursued.
“This is not meant to be punitive, but rather to dissuade others from carrying out terrorist attacks,” Nahshon said.
Israel used home demolitions extensively during the armed Palestinian revolt of 2000-2005 but suspended the practice, citing concern that it entrenched hostility.
Its revival in Yerushalayim has also drawn criticism from the United States.
“We believe that punitive home demolitions are counterproductive in an already tense situation. This is a practice I would remind that the Israeli government itself discontinued in the past, recognizing its effects,” State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said on Wednesday.