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22.12.2016

The HCJ approves the 21st punitive demolition order in 2016: “…in the respondent’s decision weight has been given to the family members’ involvement and support of the act”

On December 18, 2016, the High Court of Justice (HCJ) upheld a punitive demolition order the military issued for an apartment in Kafr 'Aqab in East Jerusalem, in which lived, with his wife and five children, a young man who committed an attack on October 9, 2016, in Jerusalem.

In the unanimous judgment, the justices upheld the state’s decision to seal the openings of the apartment, located on the seventh floor of an eight-story building, and demolish its internal walls. The court ruled this was a proportionate decision, given the family members’ support of the attack after the fact, and involvement in “terrorist activity” ascribed to them by the state. As always, the court refused to address HaMoked’s principle arguments against punitive demolitions.

This is another in a succession of judgments justifying the illegal use of Regulation 119, pursuant to which Israel demolishes the homes of Palestinians in the OPT, while placing responsibility on the families of assailants. HaMoked recalls yet again that punitive demolition constitutes collective punishment, which is absolutely prohibited according to international law.

On December 22, 2016, the military demolished the internal walls of the apartment and sealed its openings.

This is the 21st punitive demolition approved by the HCJ in 2016 alone.
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