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Israeli defense minister halts demolition of suicide bombers' homes

[JURIST] Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz [BBC News profile] Thursday ordered a halt to the razing of homes of Palestinian suicide bombers after a committee report showed that the policy had little deterrent effect and inflamed tensions with Palestinians. The policy was initiated in 2002 in an attempt to deter terrorists who did not want to leave their families homeless or to encourage families to turn in those plotting attacks. Under the plan, about 270 homes were destroyed. Israeli and international human rights groups have repeatly objected to the policy, condemning it [B'Tselem backgrounder] as a form of collective punishment affecting innocent individuals apart from alleged wrongdoers. The Defense Ministry review did not include house demolitions in the Gaza Strip, which the Israeli army were necessary for security purposes. Read an Israeli Defense Forces' press release on the decision. From Israel, Haaretz has local coverage. BBC News has more.

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