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20.7.2014

HaMoked in objections to the military: retract your intent to demolish the family homes of the three suspects in the abduction case of the three Israelis

On July 16, 2014, the military announced its intent to demolish the family homes of the two suspects in the abduction-killing case, who have missing from their homes since the incident, and also the family home of a man suspected of having aided the two. Two of the houses slated for demolition are the homes of the suspects' extended families, numbering dozens of people, including many minors.

It should be noted that the military has already demolished the housing unit in which lived the nuclear family of one of the wanted men; the apartment was detonated on the night of June 30, 2014, shortly after the bodies of the three abducted youths were found. Now that the fugitive's nuclear family has moved to another apartment in the same building, the military intends to demolish their current home as well. Also that night, the military partially detonated the family home of the other fugitive; a fire broke out in the house as a result, and family property was ruined.

On July 17, 2014, HaMoked submitted two objections against the intended demolitions of the homes, one on behalf of the family of the suspected accomplice, another on behalf of the family of one of the wanted men. A third objection was filed on behalf of the other fugitive's family on July 18, 2014.

In the objections, HaMoked argued that demolishing a family home was a cruel and inhuman act of doubtful efficacy, and that demolishing the homes of the suspects' families constituted a deliberate attack against innocent people, in violation of international humanitarian law, which prohibits collective punishment and destruction of property. HaMoked added that the planned demolitions did not meet the test of proportionality of Regulation 119 of the Defense (Emergency) Regulations of 1945, which sanctions such punishment; further, the fact the military uses the regulation only when the attacker is a Palestinian and the victim is a Jew, demonstrates extreme discrimination.

HaMoked asserted also that the intent to demolish another apartment in the two-floor building where lives one of the suspects' family, is an added crime, given that in effect, the authority given under Regulation 119 has already been exercised against the family's home. HaMoked recalled that the previous demolition in that same building had been carried out without prior notice or grant of the right to be heard, in flagrant violation of the family's procedural rights.

In two of the objections, the military's interim response has arrived, granting an extension for supplemental arguments, if needed, until today, July 20, 2014, 11:00 a.m.
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