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Bereaved father levels strong criticism at GOC

Thursday, June 6, 2019, 16:44 Moshe Shevah, the father of Rabbi Raziel Shevah, Hy”d, who was murdered in a terror attack in January 2018, strongly criticized the GOC of the Central Command, Major-General Nadav Padan, concerning the rebuilding of the terrorist’s house. Six months after the Shevah family demanded that the GOC order the demolition of the rebuilt house, Maj.-Gen. Padan replied that, “Because the house was demolished in an operational activity, an impound and demolition order was not issued. The matter has been transferred to security authorities for examination.” In November 2018 the Shevah family demanded that the GOC of the Central Command, Major-General Nadav Padan order the demolition of the terrorist’s house, which had been rebuilt. The demand, which was sent by Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, stated that according to photographs which had been publicized in the media, it appeared that the house of the terrorist who murdered Rabbi Raziel Shevah, Hy”d, Ahmed Jarrar, had been rebuilt after it was demolished in an operational activity. Honenu Attorney Bleicher reiterated that according to defense directives, construction of a house that has been demolished under an order is forbidden, and that the definition of an order “includes nomination, order, announcement, clarification, demand and permit.” Bleicher also noted that there are precedents to houses being demolished in the course of operational activities, and that the authorities ensured that they would not be rebuilt, even when the house did not belong to a terrorist. In the same letter, Bleicher demanded that those who rebuilt the house be immediately detained and tried for the maximum penalty, and that a demolition order be issued immediately. Bleicher stated that, “Every additional day that the house stands constitutes severe damage to the security of Israeli citizens and most severe damage to the murder victim and his family.” Only after more than six months had passed did the GOC of the Central Command respond to the demand, despite repeated reminders from the Shevah family. Maj.-Gen. Padan stated that the house had been demolished in an operational activity to apprehend the terrorist, who had barricaded himself in the house: “We will clarify that because the house was demolished in an operational activity, an impound and demolition order was not issued under these circumstances.” In light of this situation, Maj.- Gen. Padan explained that the issue of the rebuilt house had been transferred “for examination by security authorities responsible for the matter, and the subject is under their examination.” Moshe Shevah, the father of Rabbi Raziel Shevah, strongly criticized the response of the GOC: “Demolition during an army operation can be considered an order. They [the army] are presenting the situation in this manner because people are not familiar with the law. I have a feeling that either the IDF or the Defense Ministry find it difficult to cope with this, and they prefer to keep things quiet. They demolished [the house] once and then gave up.” Shevah added that, “It is not only in the case of my son’s murder that a house has been rebuilt. The terrorists know this, and they improve the houses they rebuild. The army responds only when pushed into a corner. They say that it [the house] wasn’t demolished under an order, but according to the law an order is also a directive from a commander on the scene, not necessarily from a court of law.” Additionally, “It is sad that this is the situation. I hope that in the end they [the army] reach the conclusion that it is really necessary to demolish the house. If the terrorist’s house is demolished and after two weeks it is rebuilt, where is the deterrence?” Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the family, stated that, “The response by the GOC arrived only after half a year, and stated that the matter is being checked by security authorities. It should not be and it is unacceptable that a building that is entirely in support of terror and slaughtering Jews has been built. And the matter has been under examination for over half a year already. In our demand we suggested several legal justifications for immediate demolition of the building, and also detaining supporters of terror. “But even if the Military Legal Advisor decided that is it not possible to immediately demolish the house, he would be obligated to issue a new demolition order as soon as possible and to demolish the house within a month. When the army does not lift a finger against an inhabited building that is entirely a symbol of terror, severe damage is done to the deterrence factor and there is utmost danger to security. It is time to act.”

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