The HCJ hearing on the petitions against the planned punitive demolition in Hebron: the state cannot guarantee that the demolition will not harm adjacent apartments, and yet it refuses to undertake allowing the occupants to sue for compensation if their property gets damaged המוקד להגנת הפרט
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15.10.2015
The HCJ hearing on the petitions against the planned punitive demolition in Hebron: the state cannot guarantee that the demolition will not harm adjacent apartments, and yet it refuses to undertake allowing the occupants to sue for compensation if their property gets damaged
The HCJ hearing on the petitions against the planned punitive demolition in Hebron: the state cannot guarantee that the demolition will not harm adjacent apartments, and yet it refuses to undertake allowing the occupants to sue for compensation if their property gets damaged
On October 14, 2015, the HCJ held a hearing on the two petitions HaMoked had filed against the military’s intended punitive demolition of the apartment where the assailant in the attack of November 10, 2014, lived, located in an apartment building in Hebron. One petition was filed on behalf of the assailant’s wife and two small children who have no other home, and the other on behalf of eight other families who live in the same building, whose homes and belongings might be damaged by the demolition.

At the opening of the hearing, the justices criticized the fact that many months had passed since the attack occurred and until the decision was made to demolish the assailant’s family home, whereas now the state was claiming that executing the demolition order was a matter of urgency. In this context, HaMoked argued that the passage of time reinforced the impression that this was just an act of punishment. HaMoked also protested the military’s practice of stockpiling houses for future punitive demolition, from which it draws “today’s victims”, whenever current events require ostentatious punishment in order to appease the Israeli public. Contrary to the state’s known – and not yet proven – assertion that this was a deterrence measure – rather than punishment – HaMoked maintains that punitive demolition does not promote deterrence of potential assailants, but might rather achieve the opposite: thus, for example, on October 13, 2015, a resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal Mukabber perpetrated an attack, just one week after the punitive demolition of his cousin’s house, also in Jabal Mukabber. The cousin whose home was demolished had been involved in the attack at Har Nof in 2014.

With respect to the petition on behalf of the neighbors living in the same building, HaMoked reaffirmed the concern over substantial damage that might occur to the adjunct apartments as a result of the demolition. HaMoked asserted that the state’s undertaking to take steps to minimise such damage were not enough – this, in view of the demolition carried out a week ago in Jabal Mukabber: despite the state’s guarantee in court in that case, the state had not kept its undertaking and neighbors’ apartments and with their contents suffered massive damage. HaMoked even presented before the court photos of the apartments damaged in the demolition of the apartment in Jabal Mukabber. The state announced that the demolition in Hebron would be carried out “manually” using “mechanical means”. HaMoked countered that if the military was certain that the preventive measures it intended to employ in the demolition were that effective, the state should now undertake to compensate the occupants in case their property was ultimately damaged. HaMoked’s proposal that the neighbors’ civil suits would not be dismissed out of hand on the grounds of “combat action” came up against a blank wall.

A judgment is yet to be issued.
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On October 14, 2015, the HCJ held a hearing on the two petitions HaMoked had filed against the military’s intended punitive demolition of the apartment where the assailant in the attack of November 10, 2014, lived, located in an apartment building in Hebron. One petition was filed on behalf of the assailant’s wife and two small children who have no other home, and the other on behalf of eight other families who live in the same building, whose homes and belongings might be damaged by the demolition.

At the opening of the hearing, the justices criticized the fact that many months had passed since the attack occurred and until the decision was made to demolish the assailant’s family home, whereas now the state was claiming that executing the demolition order was a matter of urgency. In this context, HaMoked argued that the passage of time reinforced the impression that this was just an act of punishment. HaMoked also protested the military’s practice of stockpiling houses for future punitive demolition, from which it draws “today’s victims”, whenever current events require ostentatious punishment in order to appease the Israeli public. Contrary to the state’s known – and not yet proven – assertion that this was a deterrence measure – rather than punishment – HaMoked maintains that punitive demolition does not promote deterrence of potential assailants, but might rather achieve the opposite: thus, for example, on October 13, 2015, a resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal Mukabber perpetrated an attack, just one week after the punitive demolition of his cousin’s house, also in Jabal Mukabber. The cousin whose home was demolished had been involved in the attack at Har Nof in 2014.

With respect to the petition on behalf of the neighbors living in the same building, HaMoked reaffirmed the concern over substantial damage that might occur to the adjunct apartments as a result of the demolition. HaMoked asserted that the state’s undertaking to take steps to minimise such damage were not enough – this, in view of the demolition carried out a week ago in Jabal Mukabber: despite the state’s guarantee in court in that case, the state had not kept its undertaking and neighbors’ apartments and with their contents suffered massive damage. HaMoked even presented before the court photos of the apartments damaged in the demolition of the apartment in Jabal Mukabber. The state announced that the demolition in Hebron would be carried out “manually” using “mechanical means”. HaMoked countered that if the military was certain that the preventive measures it intended to employ in the demolition were that effective, the state should now undertake to compensate the occupants in case their property was ultimately damaged. HaMoked’s proposal that the neighbors’ civil suits would not be dismissed out of hand on the grounds of “combat action” came up against a blank wall.

A judgment is yet to be issued.
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