Yehuda Guetta, left, and the scene of the deadly drive-by shooting in May

Family of terror victim seeks to confiscate property of suspected killer

Civil lawsuit in both Israel and U.S. seeks to impound land on which West Bank home of Yehuda Guetta's accused killer stood before it was demolished by IDF; family's lawyer calls move 'unprecedented procedure that will teach terrorists there is no corner of world where we will not reach them'

Elisha ben Kimon |
Published: 07.11.21, 16:43
The family of 19-year-old Yehuda Guetta, who was killed in a terrorist attack in the West Bank in May, plans to file a civil lawsuit in both Israel and the United States seeking to impound the land on which his accused killer's house stood before it was demolished by the IDF last week.
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  • The suit also seeks to impound the rest of the indicted Palestinian-American's property.
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    יהודה גואטה וזירת הפיגוע
    יהודה גואטה וזירת הפיגוע
    Yehuda Guetta, left, and the scene of the deadly drive-by shooting in May
    (Photos: Courtesy, Yoav Dudkevitch)
    The army demolished the house of suspected terrorist Muntasir Shalabi in the village of Turmus Iyya near Ramallah after the High Court rejected an appeal on behalf of his estranged wife who said she lived there with three of their children but without him.
    “We will file the lawsuit in both Israel and the United States, as the terrorist is a U.S. citizen, and we will pursue the killer's assets," said attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of the Shurat Hadin Law Center, who is representing the Guetta family.
    "It will be an unprecedented procedure that will teach the terrorists and their dispatchers that there will be no corner of the world where our hands will not reach them. That the victims of terrorism will continue to pursue them forever,” she said.
    The demolition of the home of accused terrorist Muntasir Shalabi in Turmus Iyya
    The U.S. embassy in Jerusalem last week condemned the destruction of the house.
    "We believe it is critical for all parties to refrain from unilateral steps that exacerbate tensions and undercut efforts to advance a negotiated two-state solution, this certainly includes the punitive demolition of Palestinian homes," the statement said.
    "As we stated numerous times, the home of an entire family should not be demolished for the actions of one individual. Due to privacy considerations, we cannot say anything beyond this.”
    The Guetta family expressed outrage at the condemnation, accusing the U.S. of "stand[ing] by a terrorist who came from the United States to carry out a cruel shooting attack on innocent Jewish students."
    “The Americans’ attitude requires us to find every way to prevent the next murder. And if it is through confiscating his land, we’ll do it,” Elisha Guetta said. “We’ll speak in their language, in court.”
    The family of Benaya Peretz, who was seriously wounded in the attack, will also join the Guetta lawsuit.
    The claimants intend, among other things, to gather information about the terrorist's assets in the United States and the Palestinian Authority in order to attach them to the lawsuit as well.
    "Every terrorist should know that there is a very high price for murdering a Jew. That even if he doesn’t care about his life, we will gain control over what’s more important to him than that," Leitner said.
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