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Terrorist’s family’s new house not to be demolished

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

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

Friday, September 25, 2020, 9:46 The Public Inquiries Office of the Central Command has responded to the parents of Rabbi Ahiad Ettinger, Hy”d, and stated that demolition of the luxury home built for the family of the terrorist who murdered their son “does not meet the criteria set by the High Court of Justice,” despite the fact that the family’s previous house was demolished and despite a general consensus that demolishing the house would help deter potential terrorists. In their response, the Central Command stressed that “The apartment in which the terrorist resided was seized and demolished by security forces on April 24, 2019, in accordance with the demolition warrant…” However the new luxury home, which was built for the family in the same town, “is not located on a site on which the seizure and demolition warrant is binding.” Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing Rabbi Ettinger’s parents, leveled sharp criticism at the Central Command: “In our letter to Major-General [Tamir Yadai] in the name of the Ettinger family, we pointed out the danger posed by the terror industry which recruits funds and constructs buildings for terrorists and their families in order to encourage terror, thereby severely damaging the deterrence factor.” Bleicher explained the reasoning behind the request to demolish the new house: “Therefore we suggested implementing the clauses in the law legislated against support of terror (including paragraph 119 of the Defense Regulations), which permit seizing and demolishing houses of terror supporters in addition to houses in which terrorists reside. The response which we received does not disagree at all with either our claims or the logic of taking these steps against terror, but rather says something else: according to the criteria of the Supreme Court (sitting as the High Court of Justice) it is not possible to demolish a house if a terrorist who murdered did not reside in it.” Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher added that: “Taking the responsibility for security failures, which belongs to the military command, and placing it on the High Court of Justice is an escape from responsibility and a disaster which we must not tolerate. We demand that the military command order the demolition of the house, which is entirely an encouragement of terror and murder. As long as the High Court of Justice rules again in favor of terror and against the security forces, the military command must demand that the government resolve the matter of governance and the authority of the arrmed forces to act for the sake of the security of the citizens of Israel.” Yoram and Carmit Ettinger, the parents of Rabbi Ettinger, Hy”d, responded to the decision: “We would like to express our great pain, which is caused by the fact that the family of the murderer of our dear son continues to receive funding and benefits ‘thanks to’ the murder carried out by a despicable terrorist. As long as the new luxury home is still standing, more and more potential terrorists and their families will be encouraged to continue injuring many families in Israel.” In July 2020, the parents of Rabbi Ettinger, who was murdered in a March 2019 shooting attack at the Ariel Junction with Gal Keidan, Hy”d, a soldier, demanded that the GOC of the Central Command, Major-General Tamir Yadai, order the demolition of a house 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. A letter to Maj.-Gen. Yadai, sent by Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher in the parents’ name, stated that “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.”

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