Israel’s demolition policy of Palestinian homes as a punitive measure has affected dozens of families, such as this one in Silwad demolished on Thursday to punish the family of a Palestinian alleged to have attacked Israeli soldiers. (WAFA photo/Baha Nasr)

With the demolition of three Palestinian homes in the West Bank, on Thursday, and the sealing of a fourth, the total number of homes Israel had demolished or sealed shut since October of 2015, in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, as a punishment to families, has now reached 41, according to the Abdullah Hourani Center for Studies.

Center director Suleiman Waari said Israel demolished 36 homes of Palestinians who allegedly attacked and killed Israelis, sealed shut with cement four others and welded shut a fifth after it was impossible to demolish it.

He said that 16 homes were for families of Palestinians who are currently in Israeli custody while the rest for families whose sons or daughters were killed.

Waari said, according to WAFA, that while Israel is quick to demolish family homes of alleged Palestinian attackers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which is a collective punishment policy, it has not taken any similar action against Israeli Jews who killed Palestinians in terror attacks.

He mentioned the murderers of the child Muhammad Abu Khdeir in Jerusalem, who was burnt alive, or the Dawabsha family in Douma, who were also killed after settlers set their home on fire.

He said the Israeli courts rejected petitions by the families of the Palestinian victims to demolish the homes of the convicted Jewish terrorists because, they said, demolition of homes is a deterrent policy aimed at Palestinians only.