Eitam and Naama Henkin Hy"d
Eitam and Naama Henkin Hy"dFamily photo

IDF forces on Saturday razed the homes of four Arab terrorists who murdered Israelis, pressing ahead with a deterrence policy of punitive demolitions after weeks of deadly terror attacks.  

In Shechem (Nablus) in northern Samaria, troops destroyed the homes of three Palestinian terrorists who murdered Israeli parents Dalia and Eitam Henkin in front of their children on October 1, the army said.  

Before dawn, the army destroyed the family homes of Kerem Razek, Samir Kusa and Yahya Haj Hamed.

All three are awaiting trial for the murder of the Henkins in their car in front of their young children.

Further south in Silwad, northeast of Ramallah in southern Samaria, the army razed the home of the terrorist responsible for murdering 25-year-old Malachi Rosenfeld in June. Rosenfeld was shot to death as he returned from a basketball game with friends close to the entrance of the Jewish village of Shvut Rachel, near Shiloh.

The home of his killer. Mouad Hamed, was destroyed in a controlled explosion that also damaged at least two neighboring houses, an AFP photographer said.

In an unrelated riot in the city of Hevron, 19 Palestinian extremists were hospitalized after being shot in clashes with Israeli security forces, Palestinian medical sources said.  

Fourteen were hit by live ammunition and five were struck by rubber bullets, the sources said.

Those clashes came shortly after an Israeli father and son were murdered by Arab terrorists near Otniel, close to Hevron.

The army operation to demolish the terrorists' homes came after the High Court ruled in favor of the demolitions on Thursday. The court had initially ordered a pause in the policy to allow for a legal review, after leftist NGOs appealed.  

Dalia Kerstein, director of the far-left Hamoked NGO which filed the appeals against the demolitions, said she had expected the families to be given 48 hours to leave.

"(The demolitions) are immoral, it is collective punishment and they will ignite the West Bank," she said. "How can (Israelis) not see it will fan the flames?"

Demolition orders against several other terrorists' homes are still being contested in the Israeli courts.

The intensified demolitions are among a raft of get-tough policies ordered by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in response to more than a month of daily terror attacks against Israelis.

These also include minimum jail terms for Palestinian rock-throwers, more flexible rules of engagement for the army and other stiffened sanctions on Palestinian attackers and their accomplices.  

The demolitions came hours after two Israelis were shot dead in an ambush near Hevron on Friday in the most serious attack on Israelis in nearly a month.  

Since October 1, 14 Israelis have been killed in Palestinian terrorist attacks.

AFP contributed to this report.