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26.2.2017

The house in Jabal Mukabber will be sealed: the HCJ Justices overcame the discomfort involved in the severe harm caused to a young widow and her four children and unanimously approved the punitive sealing order

On February 23, 2017, the High Court of Justice unanimously approved and permitted the state to seal, as a punitive measure, the family home of a Jabal Mukabber inhabitant, who executed an attack on January 8, 2017, in Jerusalem, in which he was killed. The house serves as the residence of the man's widow and their four minor children (the youngest nine months old and the oldest seven years old), who were not involved in the attack.

Justice Danziger emphasized that "The rules which apply to the demolition of a house serving as the residence of persons who were aware of the perpetrator's intention to carry out an attack, are different from the rules which apply to the demolition of a house serving as the residence of persons who were not aware of same." Nevertheless, he found that the decision to seal the house was proportionate, first and foremost in view of the severity of the attack.

Justice Baron referred in her decision to the updated opinion which was presented by the Israel Security Agency (ISA) and was of the opinion that it did not sufficiently substantiate empirically and in a convincing manner the state's argument that punitive demolitions did in fact deter potential perpetrators. The Justice stated further that "this applies in particular to the scope of cases in which house demolition has precisely an adverse effect, it encourages or intensifies hatred and other acts of violence against Jews." Nevertheless, and despite the Justice's position that the demolition of a house serving as the residence of innocent individuals is disproportionate, she approved the sealing order: "The privileged information presented to us ostensibly indicates that the perpetrator's family members had specific knowledge of his plan to carry out the attack, and in real time".

The court held that the punitive sealing order would not be realized before March 5, 2017.
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