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The military to the HCJ: the demolition of the houses in Hebron is necessary for deterrence. There is no room for the court to intervene in the matter. HaMoked: in 2005, the military itself concluded that punitive demolition does not deter

On August 5, 2014, the military delivered its responses to HaMoked's petitions against the intended punitive demolition of two homes in Hebron – the apartment in which lived the family of the fugitive who has been missing since the recent abduction and killing of three Israelis and the house of a suspected accomplice – and the intended punitive sealing of the apartment of the second fugitive's family.

In its responses, the military argues that "in the context of the severe deterioration in the security situation […] that peaked with the abduction and killing of the three Israeli youths", the demolition of the houses was imperative to deter other terrorists from committing additional severe terrorist attacks"; further, that the claim that the military also relied on extraneous considerations, such as avenging the abduction, should be wholly dismissed.

Recall, in 2005, the Israeli Minister of Defense announced a halt of punitive house demolitions, following the conclusions of a special committee of the Israeli security establishment that implementing this policy did not serve to deter fatal attacks, and in some cases, could even promote them. The military now claims that the deterioration in the security situation justifies a return to the policy it had already invalidated.

As to the one of the fugitive's apartment, located on the top floor of a two storey house and slated for demolition, the military informs that the intention is to demolish the apartment's external walls, "this, without damaging the apartment's roof and support columns".

As to the suspected accomplice's family home, slated to be entirely demolished, the military announces that the demolition of the entire house is required for "consideration of deterrence", and that "employing a lesser measure such as sealing would not serve the necessary level of deterrence required in this case".

The hearing in the petitions will be held on August 7, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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