The High Court on Wednesday upheld the decision to destroy the family home of a Palestinian terrorist accused of a deadly shooting. It rejected a petition by his wife, who lives in the house with their children and says she knew nothing about the terror attack.
Muntasser Shalaby is accused of carrying out a May 2 drive-by shooting at the Tapuach Junction that killed 19-year-old yeshivah student Yehuda Guetta, Hy”d, and wounded two others. He was arrested days after the attack.
The case drew attention to Israel’s policy of demolishing the family homes of attackers after they have been killed or arrested. Israeli officials say the demolitions deter future attacks, while rights groups view it as a form of collective punishment.
The U.S. State Department has urged a halt to punitive home demolitions. An internal review by the IDF in 2004 reportedly questioned its effectiveness as a deterrent, leading the military to largely halt such demolitions for nearly a decade. It resumed the practice in 2014 after three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and killed in Gush Etzion.
The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the ruling.
Earlier this month, it called on Israel and the Palestinians to refrain from any actions that undermine efforts to revive the peace process, including punitive home demolitions.
“The home of an entire family should not be demolished for the actions of one individual,” it said.