The IDF demolished early Wednesday the home of Ziad Awad, the Palestinian terrorist who killed Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrahi on Passover eve, after the High Court rejected a petition on his behalf, clearing the way for the IDF to follow through with the threat.
IDF spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner, said the demolition was intended to serve as a deterrent.
"The implementation of the demolition order serves to deter and conveys a severe warning to terrorists and their accomplices that their actions will bear severe consequences," he said.
On Monday, the High Court rejected an appeal by an rights group against the army's decision to demolish the home in the village of Idhna, close to the city of Hebron in the southern West Bank.
The IDF stopped the practice of destroying suicide bomber's home in 2005 and those of violent terrorists in 2008, claiming it was counterproductive in their effort to discourage attacks.
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The IDF note that Awad was a known Hamas' operative jailed in the past for killing Palestinian who cooperated with Israel and was freed from jail after serving less than half of his sentence as part of prisoner exchange deal with Hamas which saw Sgt. Gilad Shalit freed after more than five years in captivity.
"They came at three in the morning and had finished destroying the house at seven. I had thought they would just tear down my brother's house, but now everything's gone and we also have nowhere to go," said Awad' brother Mohammed, who lives in the same small building which housed 15 other members of their extended family.
At the court hearing Tuesday, the judge rejected rights' groups claims that the demolition would harm Awad's innocent family members.
Judge Miriam Naor explained her rejection of the petition by tying the events to the rise in the number of terror attacks in the West Bank and the discovery of the bodies of the three missing Israeli boys’.
She explained that though the IDF has stopped demolishing houses in recent years, the law still permits it, especially in light of recent developments.
Representing the victim, Hadas, wife of Baruch Mizrahi, urged the court not to focus on the suffering of the terrorist but on that of the victims. “We are the victims, we were innocent, driving in our car until we were caught in an ambush and shot at.
“The terrorist just laughed at us and kept shooting. He saw Baruch had fallen so he took aim at our children’s heads,” she said.
Awad’s lawyer tried to counter the claim, and said that “the terrorists’ children are not complicit in this act and should not suffer. His brother and his wife and kids’ home could also be damaged in the attack,” Lawyer Sigi Ben Yair claimed.
On the other hand, representatives of the State claimed that Awad’s wife knew of her husband’s intentions, and they also reminded that Awad’s son Izz ad-Ain was involved the attack, “this is no innocent family,” State lawyer Aner Helman told the judge.
Reuters and Aviel Magnezi contributed to this report