A ruling by Israel’s High Court has cleared the way for the demolition of the homes of the suspected kidnapper-murderers of three Israeli teens.
While the court rejected three petitions against the army’s decision to raze the homes, it did give the families until 1 p.m. on Thursday to submit an engineer’s opinion on how it will affect nearby houses.
The three suspects are Amer Abu Aisheh, Marwan Qawasmeh and Hussam Qawasmeh. The first two, who allegedly perpetrated the June kidnapping and murder of Naftali Frankel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach, Hy”d, are still at large. Hussam Qawasmeh, thought to be the mastermind of the operation, was captured last month.
Justices Yoram Danziger, Isaac Amit and Noam Sohlberg rejected the claim that, since the state doesn’t destroy the houses of Jewish terrorists, the decision is discriminatory.
“It’s impossible to deny that acts of incitement and violence against Arabs have multiplied in Jewish society; this is regrettable, and it’s necessary to act forcefully against such occurrences,” Danziger wrote for the court. “But the comparison is out of place, because house demolitions in the territories aren’t used in cases of incitement and violence, but in especially severe cases of murder. I’m not overlooking the shocking case of the murder of the teenage boy Mohammed Abu Khdeir, a case that shocked the country and sparked wall-to-wall condemnations, but this was the rarest of rare occurrences. Therefore, it seems to me there’s no place for the artificial symmetry claimed by the petitioners to support their claim of discriminatory enforcement.”
The court also concluded that the need for an effective deterrent in “a deteriorating security situation” overrides the families’ argument that demolition constituted collective punishment, which is illegal under international law.
Danziger said that house demolitions are permissible by law, if they are justified, which in this case they are.