HaMoked in a High Court petition against the military’s decision to punitively demolish a residence in the Askar Refugee Camp: “the proximity between the order’s issuance date and the recent wave of attacks, reinforces the impression that this is not a deterrence measure, but a vindictive indiscriminate response” המוקד להגנת הפרט
12.10.2015
HaMoked in a High Court petition against the military’s decision to punitively demolish a residence in the Askar Refugee Camp: “the proximity between the order’s issuance date and the recent wave of attacks, reinforces the impression that this is not a deterrence measure, but a vindictive indiscriminate response”
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On October 9, 2015, the military issued its decision which wholly rejected HaMoked’s objection against the punitive demolition of a residence in the Askar Refugee Camp in Nablus. Therefore, HaMoked petitioned the High Court of Justice (HCJ) on October 12, 2015, to instruct the military to repeal the demolition order. Additionally, HaMoked requested the court to suspect the demolition order’s execution pending the court’s decision, and to compel the military to supply technical specifications of the demolition plan – a request which the military has thus far rejected.

The demolition order was issued against the family residence of a youth suspected of committing stabbing attack in Tel Aviv in November 2014. The youth lived in the apartment, located on the ground floor of a two-storey building, with his parents and five siblings, who live there still. Despite the fact – which was stressed in the objection – that the youth and his family have been on bad terms for a long time now and that the youth and his deeds have been not been supported by the family, the military stands firm on its decision to demolish the parents’ apartment.

Moreover, HaMoked noted that the family home was actually the property of the United Nations – a fact which the military knows and has not rejected – and not the family’s private property. Furthermore, the house is located in Area A, where the military commander is not authorized to impose sanctions; under the Interim Agreement and its annexes, this is the purview of the Palestinian Council, not Israel.

In the petition, HaMoked reaffirmed the unlawfulness of Regulation 119 of the Defense (Emergency) Regulation, pursuant to which the military engages in the seizure and demolition of Palestinian homes; the Regulation runs contrary to international law, from which the military commander derives his authority in the occupied territory, and it effectively imposes prohibited collective punishment.

HaMoked argued that the passage of time between the stabbing incident in which the son is suspected and the issuance of the demolition order indicates that the planned act is “not reactive to the offence but serves an extraneous concern”. The close proximity between the order’s issuance date and the recent wave of attacks, reinforces the impression that this is not a deterrence measure, but a vindictive indiscriminate response. In HaMoked’s opinion, the shifts in the security situation in the country rather necessitate a renewed professional appraisal.

Immediately after the petition was filed, the HCJ issued a temporary injunction suspending the execution of the demolition order. The hearing in the petition has been scheduled for October 15, 2015, at 12:30 noon. The state has been instructed to submit its response until that date, by 9:00 a.m.
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