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20.1.2019

The High Court rejected HaMoked’s request for a further hearing on the judgment allowing the demolition of the family home of a teenager accused of a stabbing attack: despite the unclarity regarding the minor’s motives, the home was demolished for “deterrence”

On January 17, 2019, the High Court of Justice (HCJ) rejected HaMoked’s request to hold a further hearing on the majority judgment issued in HaMoked’s petition against a punitive demolition order. The order targets the top-floor apartment of a three-story building – the family home of a minor accused of committing a fatal stabbing attack on September 16, 2018.

The request for a further hearing was based on the minority opinion of Justice Karra, who held that the home should not be demolished in this case, given that the accused was a minor, driven by various motives, including the desire to hurt his parents, and also because the family played no part in his action. HaMoked also relied on the pronouncements of Justice Baron in the judgment, who said that as a rule, doubts surrounded the claimed effectiveness of house demolition for deterrence. HaMoked added that the family had no real way of preventing the attack, and that the planned demolition would leave them homeless – including their 12-year-old son. Therefore, HaMoked maintained, the judgment had established a novel precedent, which contradicted the previous precedent on the various criteria by which to judge the proportionality of employing Regulation 119 of the Defense (Emergency) Regulations of 1945, following the deeds of a minor. HaMoked appended to the request an expert analysis of adolescent brain development to support the claim that deterrence for actions of adolescence warrants further examination by the court.

In its request, HaMoked reiterated its principle arguments against the demolition of houses carried out pursuant to Regulation 119, asserting that it was prohibited collective punishment causing severe harm to basic rights. In this regard, HaMoked emphasized that about half of the Supreme Court justices maintained that there was a need to revisit the precedent allowing use of this Regulation, as it raised complex and difficult legal questions that had not yet been thoroughly discussed.

The court rejected HaMoked’s claim that a new precedent had been set and ruled that there was no call for a further hearing in this case.

The military demolished the family home on the following day.
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