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HaMoked heading a group of human rights organizations to the HCJ: a further hearing before an expanded panel should be held in the general petition against punitive house demolitions

On December 31, 2014, the High Court of Justice (HCJ) dismissed the general petition filed by HaMoked together with other human rights organizations against the policy of punitive house demolitions renewed by Israel in the summer of 2014. The court disregarded HaMoked's arguments against the legality of using Regulation 119 – and this although these arguments were previously considered only in two judgments issued back in the 1970s and the 1980s.

On January 15, 2015, HaMoked and the other organizations jointly applied for a further hearing in the petition. HaMoked asserted that the main arguments in the petition – the fact that the punitive demolitions constituted collective punishment and destruction of protected persons' property prohibited under international law – had never been thoroughly considered, including in the present judgement. HaMoked argued that this issue and its repercussions are of the outmost significance and severity. Among other things, HaMoked recalled that on the same day the general petition was rejected, the Palestinians signed the Rome Statute, giving the International Criminal Court the authority to probe and adjudicate violations of the laws of war perpetrated in the West bank. HaMoked warned that according to the expert opinion of leading international law jurists supplemented to the petition, punitive demolitions pursuant to Regulation 119 might be considered a war crime. HaMoked reasserted that given this recent development and the complexity and significance of the issue, a further hearing in the petition before an extended panel was necessary. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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