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The military continues issuing punitive demolition orders: HaMoked petitioned the HCJ against the planned demolition of three homes in Qabatiya

On February 24, 2016, the military issued demolition orders for three homes in Qabatiya in Jenin District, in which lived three youths who carried out an attack against Israelis at Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem on February 3, 2016. In dismissing HaMoked’s objections to the planned demolitions, the military notified that various demolition techniques would be used: engineering equipment, “controlled blasts” and manual means – namely the demolition of the interior walls and the filling of the space with rolls of barbed wire and foaming material – in order “to ensure the apartment’s seizure and its non-use”.

Therefore HaMoked petitioned the High Court of Justice (HCJ) on behalf of the three families, asking the court to rescind the demolition orders or at least narrow the scope of destruction of the homes; this, given the fact that the three attackers were young single men who had lived with their parents and siblings. HaMoked argued that the military’s decision to employ this extreme measure, which severely violated the basic rights of the innocent, including children, had been made automatically, without due discretion, in disregard of the state’s obligation to occasionally reconsider this draconian measure’s efficacy for “deterring potential assailants”.

HaMoked again requested the court “to determine that where the suspected attacker is killed on the spot, no further deterrence measures would be possible, lest we reach that slippery slope of vengeful and cruel acts of harm against ever larger circles of people related to the assailant, beginning with damage to homes, through personal harm to his kinfolk, ending with who knows what” (HCJ 1999/16).

On March 9, 2016, the HCJ issued a temporary order in the three petitions, halting seizure or demolition of the homes pending another decision. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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