The HCJ rejected HaMoked’s petitions against punitive demolition orders: two houses in Qalandia Refugee Camp will be demolished המוקד להגנת הפרט
14.06.2016
The HCJ rejected HaMoked’s petitions against punitive demolition orders: two houses in Qalandia Refugee Camp will be demolished
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On June 14, 2016, the High Court of Justice (HCJ) unanimously approved the punitive demolition of two homes in Qalandia Refugee Camp, in which lived to youths who carried out an attack against Israelis near Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem on December 23, 2015.

In the judgment, the justices dismissed the arguments raised by HaMoked in its petitions, and ruled that the military commander’s decision to demolish the homes was reasonable and proportionate.

Regarding the land ownership question arising from the fact that the houses were in an UNRWA-run refugee camp, the court merely said that the land was not owned by UNRWA and repeated the finding that an occupancy link between the attacker and the home was sufficient for the military commander to order the home’s demolition pursuant to Regulation 119.

In an UNRWA position paper on punitive demolitions that was submitted to the court, the organization expressed strong condemnation of the policy of punitive demolition inside UN refugee camps. But the court disregarded this position in its judgment.

The judgment is the latest in a string of recent judgments in which justices adopted an odd position, whereby family members’ statements or conduct (i.e., support or non-condemnation) after the event, are relevant to the question of the family’s complicity in the son’s acts – even when it is clear that the family did not know in advance about the son’s intent to carry out an attack – and therefore these expressions are significant in considering the proportionality of the demolition decision. Thus ruled Justice Baron, saying that “constructive knowledge must be attributed to the family, according to which, the family members should have known about his intentions” – this, based on the father’s statement in support of his son’s action, made after the event.

The court ruled that the temporary order delaying the demolition’s implementation would be lifted in five days from the date of the judgment.
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