Israel has razed the homes of four Palestinians in the occupied West Bank blamed for attacking Israelis, the army has said, its latest punitive demolition after weeks of deadly unrest.

The military carried out the demolition orders on Saturday after clearance from the Supreme Court.

In Nablus in the northern West Bank, the military destroyed the homes of three Palestinians accused of killing an Israeli settler couple on October 1 at the start of the latest flare-up of violence, the army said.

In Silwad, northeast of Ramallah, they razed the home of a Palestinian accused of killing an Israeli on a West Bank road in June, it added.


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Israel has renewed a home demolition tactic that it says is a legal and effective tool to deter attacks. 

Last month, the Israeli government ordered an intensification of punitive home demolitions in response to a wave of stabbing and shooting attacks and other deadly unrest.

It says the controversial policy acts as a deterrent but critics say the main victims of such demolitions are relatives forced to pay for another person's actions.

Ten Israelis have been killed since October 1, while 80 Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli security forces, including 44 people whom Israel claimed were carrying out attacks. 

The violence over the past six weeks has, in part, been fuelled by an increase in Jewish visits to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem, a site holy to both Muslims and Jews.

Palestinians inspect a house that was demolished by the Israeli army in the village of Silwad on Saturday [Majdi Mohammed/AP]

Source: Agencies