Contrary to the justices’ unequivocal advice to the state to reduce the scope of the demolition order issued against a family home in Askar, Nablus: “the state’s position is that there is room to implement the order … in full”
On October 21, 2015, the High Court of Justice held a hearing
on HaMoked’s petition to cancel the punitive demolition order issued against a home in the Askar Refugee Camp in Nablus. The targeted apartment is the family home of youth suspected in the stabbing attack in Tel Aviv on November 2014. The apartment is on the ground floor of a two storey building, and the youth lived there with his parents and five siblings.
In the objection to the intended demolition of the apartment, submitted earlier to the military, HaMoked recalled that it was customary in the case of a single man living with his parents, to demolish or seal only his private room and not the entire apartment. In response to the objection, it was stated that it was insufficient to demolish just one room, and so the state clung to its position to demolish the whole apartment. In the brief court hearing, the justices criticized the state’s conduct, for having issued the demolition order in significant undue delay, about a year after the attack. Therefore, Justice Rubinstein, speaking on behalf of the entire panel, advised the state to reconsider reducing the scope of the order, rather than demolishing the entire: “we have thought that on the concrete level in this case, you are advised to consider something more proportionate … we call to limit the result one way or another “. The state representatives asked the court for an extension for consultation.
On October 28, 2015, the state announced
that “there is room to order the seizure and demolition if the apartment on the ground floor of the structure object of the petition” – this in complete contradiction to the justices’ recommendation. In its response, the state reiterated its position that “the partial demolition of the assailant’s apartment will not achieve in the best manner the deterrence objective underlying the Regulation, and hence, there is no call to settle for it”. The state also contended that it was operatively impossible to implement the order only partially – by way of complete or partial sealing – “without this having security and concomitant consequences in the area of the Askar Refugee Camp”.
On October 29, 2015, the court decided
to issue an order nisi in the petition and instructed the state to respond within seven days on the question of the partial demolition of the apartment– also given the undue delay in issuing the demolition order. The hearing will be scheduled shortly after.