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High Court of Justice authorizes demolition of terrorist’s house

Updated: May 29


Security forces at the scene of the attack; Photo credit: Sraya Diamant/Flash90

Wednesday, June 23, 2021, 11:25 Supreme Court Justices Yitzhak Amit, David Mintz, and Ofer Grosskopf, sitting as the High Court of Justice, authorized the demolition of Muntasir Ahmed Ali Shalabi’s house. Shalabi is the terrorist who murdered Yehuda Guetta, Hy”d, and injured others in a terror attack at Tapuah Junction on May 2. In their decision, the justices rejected all of the claims in the petition filed against demolishing the house, among them claims that the terrorist did not have a connection to the structure, and that members of his family, who had not known of his intent, should not be penalized. Shalabi’s family demanded that their house not be demolished, and Attorney Lea Tsemel of HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual filed the petition on June 3. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is assisting Guetta’s family as victims of terror: “The justices’ statements with regard to the need for deterrence-building steps are clear. There is no doubt that the less time elapses between an attack and the demolition of a terrorist’s house, the more effective it will be as a deterrent. The time has come to allow the IDF to take immediate steps of deterrence, without waiting for authorization from the High Court of Justice for every demolition. If after the fact it turns out that a mistake was made, the affected parties may be compensated. “In the war on terror one must have determination, speed, and strength. The IDF must be allowed the tools and the flexibility to immediately retaliate after a terror attack, without giving the organizations that support terror the opportunity to fight the IDF in the courts.” On June 17, a hearing took place at the High Court of Justice on the petition. A representative of the State of Israel revealed that there are indications and evidence in the hands of the security forces according to which some of the terrorist’s nuclear family members were aware of his intentions before he carried out the attack. A representative from Guetta’s family was present at the hearing, as was Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is assisting the family. They demanded that the terrorist’s house be demolished. One day earlier, the State of Israel filed its opinion on the petition, in which the State asserted that the house must be demolished and rejected the claims by the terrorist’s family, whom Attorney Lea Tsemel is representing. Prior to the hearing, Bleicher stated: “Again and again, IDF soldiers are forced to confront the High Court of Justice and to contend with Attorney Lea Tsemel and other attorneys from HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual, who automatically defend terrorists and attempt to prevent the IDF from fulfilling their most basic duty: defending Israeli citizens by deterring the enemy. We will raise the victims’ cry in the courtroom and demand that the High Court of Justice firmly reject the repugnant petition.”

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