JERUSALEM, Dec. 15 (JTA) — The Israeli army has begun demolishing and sealing up the homes of four Palestinian suicide bombers who were involved in two terrorist attacks earlier this year. Monday’s action was taken after Israel’s High Court of Justice rejected petitions from the bombers’ families, saying the punishment was justified because the families had provided the terrorists with food and shelter for a prolonged period of time. In its Dec. 9 ruling, the court also rejected a challenge from some of the families regarding the veracity of genetic tests that linked them to the men who carried out the two attacks in Jerusalem that claimed the lives of 21 victims, wounding some 360 others. Two suicide bombers struck in the Mahane Yehuda open-air market on July 30, and three hit the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall on Sept. 4. Hamas claimed responsibility for both attacks. Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat denounced the demolitions as a violation of the peace accords. Meanwhile, the army spokesman said that only parts of some of the homes were being sealed in order not to affect inhabitants who were not involved in harboring the terrorists.
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