During a punitive demolition in East Jerusalem, the military caused severe damage to neighboring apartments: the affected families are suing the state over negligence
On October 6, 2015, the military blasted a housing unit in the neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukabber in East Jerusalem as a punitive demolition, which caused damage
to the entire building as well as nearby buildings. Despite the state’s undertaking, given during the proceedings in petition HCJ 8066/14
, that the demolition would be controlled in order to avoid damage to adjacent apartments, the blast was carried out negligently, in blatant violation of Israel’s Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, protecting the individual and his/her property. Furthermore, the targeted apartment did not collapse completely, and its remains are an environmental hazard. Consequently, an injunction order
was sought to compel the clearing of the debris from the detonated apartment.
On April 10, 2016, the family members living in the building and the neighbors sued the state via HaMoked. The lawsuit
seeks compensation in the sum of ILS 1,200,000 for wrongful property damage and bodily harm, including the mental anguish endured by young children as a result of the traumatic event which took place late at night. The lawsuit addresses the damage caused to five apartments in the building of the demolished apartment and four additional apartments in adjacent buildings; in one case, the family needed substitute accommodation, and in another case, the entire apartment had to be renovated.
HaMoked recalled that in the framework of the petition filed against this punitive demolition, the petitioners’ engineer alerted about the heavy damage that could result from the planned demolition method, given the constructive parameters of the structure and the fact that it was a densely built neighborhood.
It should be noted that as of the filing of the lawsuit, the state had not seen fit to investigate the event. HaMoked asserted that given the severity of the incident and its outcome, the relevant authority must initiate an inquiry. HaMoked reiterated that this was a blatant breach of the state’s undertaking, which was validated in the judgment, not to cause such damage. Moreover, following this blast, the state began using other demolition techniques and strove to avoid using explosives in order to minimize the damage – a fact which bolsters the claim that there was negligence on part of the military in demolishing the apartment in Jabal al-Mukabber.