Center for the Defence of the Individual - The HCJ approved a punitive demolition in Hebron, condemning three children and their mother to lose their only home
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חזרה לעמוד הקודם

The HCJ approved a punitive demolition in Hebron, condemning three children and their mother to lose their only home

On February 5, 2023, the High Court of Justice (HCJ) approved the demolition pursuant to Regulation 119 of a family home located on the top floor of a five-story building in Hebron. This is the only home of a mother and her three minor children, whose spouse and father committed an attack on October 29, 2002, in which an Israeli man was killed, and was subsequently shot and killed.  

In the judgment, written by Justice Sohlberg, HaMoked’s principled arguments were dismissed as a matter of course, including the claim that this constituted collective punishment prohibited under international law, and the claim that the measure had not been proved effective for deterrence purposes and was likely the opposite.

As to the case in hand, the Court dismissed HaMoked’s argument that the family members had sought to alert the authorities about their suspicions concerning their relative’s intentions, and therefore that considerations of deterrence should lead to the conclusion that the home must not be demolished as an incentive for such conduct. However, the Court adopted the State’s position and ruled that there was evidence “indicating with non-negligible probability” that the mother suspected her spouse of having such intentions and failed to act to prevent an attack.

Justice Baron agreed with this finding and noted that in her opinion, this was the crucial point which made the demolition a proportionate step, given her position that: “Demolishing a person’s home, although no guilt or involvement in the attack is attributed to them, harms the core of human rights and contradicts the values at the heart of the State of Israel as a Jewish, democratic state. Therefore, my approach is that demolition of a home of innocent family members solely due to the gravity of the actions of the perpetrator, with no weight to the knowledge or involvement of the family members in the act, does not as a rule meet the proportionality test.”

She also reiterated her position that the classified security opinion regarding the alleged effectiveness of this measure for deterrence, which was presented before the Justices ex parte, was again unconvincing and could not be otherwise for substantive reasons.

However, as stated, in spite of this, Justice Baron joined the ruling authorizing demolition of the home.