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Demolition of terrorists’ houses as deterrent

Photograph of the new house from the Fatah-Qalqilya Facebook page

Photograph of the new house from the Fatah-Qalqilya Facebook page

Wednesday, July 29, 2020, 13:03 Yoram and Carmit Ettinger, the parents of Rabbi Ahiad Ettinger, Hy”d, who was murdered in a March 2019 shooting attack at the Ariel Junction with Gal Keidan, Hy”d, a soldier, have demanded that the GOC of the Central Command, Major-General Tamir Yadai, demolish a house recently built for the family of the terrorist who murdered their son. The terrorist’s house was partially demolished by the army after the attack. With funds from donations, Fatah built the family a new house in the same town. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher sent a letter in the parents’ name to Maj.-Gen. Yadai, in which he mentioned that there is a critical and existential need to use deterrence factors against incitement to terror, glorifying terrorists and praising their acts. In Bleicher’s opinion, the very act of constructing a new house for the purpose of glorifying terrorists constitutes a violation of a “security directive order” which carries a penalty of ten years’ imprisonment. The letter describes how after the attack security forces demolished part of the house of Omar Abu-Laila, the terrorist who carried out the attack, and recently the newly constructed house was seen in the media: “Construction of a luxury home for the family of the terrorist has been completed… through donations designated to support terrorists and encourage their acts.” Photographs of the new house, a large and impressive villa, with stone-facing and balconies, were attached to the letter. More from the letter: “Constructing a luxury home for a terrorist and his family constitutes explicit support of terror and encouragement of acts of terror. Moreover, constructing a luxury home for terrorist families whose houses were demolished, completely nullifies the efficacy of demolishing the houses of terrorists as a deterrence which prevents attacks. Accepting this as an [unavoidable] reality makes a laughingstock out of the deterrence measures… and creates a clear and immediate danger to Israeli citizens.” In conclusion, Bleicher demanded that the GOC of the Central Command immediately issue a warrant ordering the demolition of the building that the terrorists constructed and also order the detention and prosecution of those who participated in the construction and its funding. “We are warning that refraining from action in the face of support of terror will bring upon us humiliation and attacks ten times worse [than in the past]. Every stone in a house built for a terrorist without an appropriate reaction from the security authorities is another stone in a cemetery built for the future victims of terror attacks, G-d forbid.” Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the parents of Rabbi Ettinger, Hy”d, as victims of terror, stated: “Demolishing the houses of terrorists is not something to check off of a ‘to do’ list. We must fight terror uncompromisingly, including by immediate demolition of buildings intended to encourage the murder of Israelis, and by immediate detention of supporters of terror.”

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