Accessibility links

Breaking News

Israel Demolishes Home of Palestinian Who Killed 2 at Train Stop


Palestinians inspect the demolished apartment of Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi in east Jerusalem, Israel, Nov. 19, 2014. Israeli authorities demolished the apartment as a punitive measure after al-Shaludi's deadly attack with his car on a Jerusalem train station last month.

Israeli security forces have demolished the home of a Palestinian man who killed two people in an attack at a light rail stop last month.

The demolition early Wednesday in the Silwan area of East Jerusalem left rooms filled only with rubble.

The home is within view of the holy site known to Muslims as the al-Aqsa Mosque, and to Jews as the Temple Mount, where clashes and protests have increased along with tensions elsewhere in recent months.

Security forces acted after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for the homes of two Palestinians who killed five people at a Jerusalem synagogue Tuesday to be destroyed. He also said demolitions related to earlier attacks should be sped up.

Rights group Amnesty International criticized the tactic, calling it a "collective punishment" against suspects' families that goes against international law.

The group also condemned the men behind Tuesday's synagogue attack for showing an "utter contempt for fundamental principles of humanity."

The two Palestinians were armed with guns, knives and a meat cleaver when they went after worshippers during a prayer service. Police later shot them dead.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack. But the militant group Hamas celebrated it as another act avenging Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.

President Barack Obama said there is no justification for attacking innocent civilians. He said it is important for Israelis and Palestinians to work together in rejecting violence and seeking peace.

Pope Francis also condemned the attack, telling his weekly general audience on Wednesday he is following with concern the "alarming" increase in tensions in Jerusalem and other areas of the Holy Land.

The pontiff said there have been "unacceptable" episodes of violence that have not even spared religious sites.

He also urged both sides to end what he called a cycle of "violence and hate," and to make courageous decisions for reconciliation and peace.

In London, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron called the attack an "appalling act of terror." He was speaking before parliament on Wednesday.