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The home of the family of the tractor driver who injured 25 people in Jerusalem, will not be demolished: traces of drugs were found in his body and no proof of a political motivation

On July 22, 2008, a resident of Jerusalem left the construction site where he worked, driving a tractor. On King Davis Street, the tractor collided into a bus and several vehicles. In result, one passerby was moderately injured, and 24 others were lightly injured. The tractor driver was shot dead by a border police officer and a civilian.

Three months later, the tractor driver’s family in East Jerusalem received notice that the military plans to seize and demolish the house he had lived in – under Regulation 119 of the Defense (Emergency) Regulations – 1945, – as he “committed a terror attack” and the military deems the house demolition necessary “to deter potential terrorists from committing similar terror attacks in future.”

HaMoked filed an objection to the military’s decision to demolish the house on behalf of the family. A supplementary pathology report by Prof. Yehuda Hiss established that the tractor driver’s blood showed traces of an amphetamine-type ecstasy and hashish psychoactive drug. HaMoked argued that the fact that drugs were found in the driver’s blood, coupled with his previous criminal record, make it impossible to determine that he acted as part of “a wave” of politically motivated “terrorist attacks”, due to which the military intends to seize and demolish the family’s home. HaMoked further argued that the demolition of the house does not meet the proportionality test of the regulation sanctioning such punishment, since seizing the home, which was not owned by the driver at all, does not meet the provisions of international law, and the fact that the military implements this regulation only in cases when the attacker is an Arab and the injured is a Jew, is objectionable.

On August 2, 2010, more than 18 months after the objection was filed, the military notified that it accepts the toxicology findings, and has decided, beyond the requirement of the law, to refrain from issuing an order to seize and demolish the family’s home, although the issue of motive remains unresolved. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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