Israeli High Court Rules in Favor Of Demolishing House of Terrorist's Family

The Israeli High Court ruled in favor of demolishing the house of the family of the terrorist who killed four IDF soldiers and injured 17 others when he drove his truck into a crowd of soldiers in Jerusalem three weeks ago.

On January 8, Fadi Ahmad al-Qunbar drove his truck onto a sidewalk in Talpiyot crowded with young IDF soldiers in Talpiot, Jerusalem.  The Palestinian terrorist was shot and killed by civilians and soldiers as he began to drive in reverse, hitting more soldiers. After the attack, there were allegations the soldiers had hesitated in their response due to the recent conviction of Elor Azaria for shooting a terrorist after he had been neutralized.

The house in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukabbir belonging to Qunbar’s family was ordered destroyed and their residence permits revoked.  On February 13, the family petitioned the High Court to block the demolition.

The family represented in its petition by Hamoked, an NGO that claims to help Palestinians with Human rights issues. Hamoked recieves its funding from European sources, the Ford Foundation, and a center in Ramallah that organizes NGO’s operating in Israel. Hamoked argued against the demolition, saying there was no evidence that Qunbar’s wife and four children knew anything about his intentions, and therefore should not be penalized for his actions. After the attack, Qunbar’s sister made public statements praising his actions. Hamoked argued to the court that this did not indicate prior knowledge, which the court is required to prove before ordering the demolition. Other NGO’s including Betselem joined the protest, claiming the demolition is “a form of  collective punishment”.

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YNet reported the statements of the court in denying the family’s petition.

“This terror attack was planned, cruel and unusual in its severity with fateful consequences,” stated Justice Yoram Danziger. “The ideologically motivated attack was carried out by the terrorist alone; namely, his involvement was direct. Another important factor, which is also undisputed, is that the terrorist himself resided in the specific residential unit designated for destruction, so that there is a direct connection between him and the structure to be demolished.”

Judge Noam Solberg joined the ruling: “The damage incurred to the family is bothersome, but as I have said on several occasions murderous terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians leaves no choice for the military commander, who is committed to use all of the legal means at his disposal to literally save lives.”

Justice Anat Baron also noted that “the classified material presented to us shows apparent knowledge on behalf of the perpetrator’s family about his plan to carry out the attack. Under these circumstances, even if the efficacy of deterrence in house demolitions is questionable, I came to the conclusion that demolishing the residential dwelling is proportionate.”

Last month was the worst for terror attacks since June, with over 100 attacks, and five Israelis killed.



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Source: Israel in the News