State attorney argues: ‘Demolishing homes is a deterrent’

Supreme Court Justices Miriam Naor, Hanan Meltzer and Noam Solberg heard arguments Thursday morning on petitions filed by the families of Arab terrorists against Israel, which wishes to demolish their homes. 

The state was represented by Attorney Avinoam Segal Elad, who stressed that demolishing the homes of terrorists is a proven deterrent according to security officials. 

"This is not research, but the opinion of professional security agencies," Elad argued, after Naor asked if any studies has shown a link between demolitions and decreased terrorism. "Demolishing houses is a deterrent."

"There are opinion suggesting that," Elad continued. "It is certainly a deterrent and we can show you that ex parte."

The attorney representing the families contended, meanwhile, that the IDF's orders for demolition had been issued hastily and in an inappropriate manner. 

"There isn't even an indictment [against the terrorists]. We saw no material against the accused. This evil – a demolition of a house – is a sanction that should be done form lack of choice. There is no presentation of evidence and the state has not even provided us a demolition plan."

According to the attorney, "this is a demolition on display. The refusal to grant even minimum rights reflects a lack of respect for the rights of the homeowners and their neighbors."

The lawyer also outlined the personal circumstances of the families whose houses were slated for demolition and the difficulty they will experience if the orders are carried out. 

Security forces distributed two weeks ago seven demolition orders to the families of Arab terrorists who conducted several recent lethal attacks, including the murders of Rabbi Eitam and Naama Henkin, Rabbi Nehemiah Levi, Aharon Bennett, and Danny Gonen. 

The families immediately appealed, scoring a temporary victory in court last Thursday when Supreme Court Justice Uzi Fogelman postponed the demolitions pending a hearing. 


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