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Court hears three petitions against punitive house demolitions: Justice to issue ruling soon

The Supreme Court heard three petitions on punitive house demolitions on December 3, 2014.

Two of the petitions concerned the homes of the two perpetrators of the attack on the Har Nof synagogue in Jerusalem and the third is a general public petition, which raises principled arguments against punitive house demolitions irrespective of any specific house that is the object of a demolition order. The individual petitions were filed by HaMoked, the general petition was initiated by HaMoked and filed on behalf of eight human rights organizations.

During the hearing in the general petition, the State argued that the justification for the demolitions is deterring future assailants rather than punishment. The organizations challenge this claim and call into question the efficacy of demolitions as a deterrent, adding that in any event, innocents must not be harmed based on some distant hope of future deterrence. At the end of the hearing, the justices announced they would deliver their judgment in the near future.

As for the petitions against the demolition of the homes of the men who attacked the synagogue, HaMoked argued in the event that the demolition is cleared, the Court should instruct to postpone the demolition for 48 hours from issuance of the decision to allow the families to pack their belongings before they lose their homes. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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