Photo: Gil Yohanan
Ramifications. Mazuz
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Mazuz: No legal obstacle to razing terrorists' homes

Following recent terror attacks in capital, Attorney General's Office, State Prosecutor compile brief probing legality of punitive house demolitions; conclude measure not illegal, but iquestionable

Attorney General Menachem Mazuz determined Thursday that there was not legal reason to refrain from tearing down the homes of the terrorist who carried out the attack on Mercaz Harav rabbinical seminary in Jerusalem and that of Hossam Dawyyat, who carried out the deadly attack in central Jerusalem on Wednesday.


Mazuz did note, however, that although not illegal, such punitive action would carry significant judiciary difficulties. He urged both the government and the defense establishment to carefully consider the ramifications and perils of any such action and stressed that should a decision of that nature be made, it would have to be coordinated with the Justice Ministry.


The Attorney General's Office and the State Prosecutor's Office held several meetings on the legalities of razing terrorists' homes all throughout Thursday.


Representatives from the Shin Bet and the Military Advocate General's Office were present at all the meetings, offering their various perspectives. Briefs on the matter, detailing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak's views on the matter, were also presented.


Mazuz offered the legal background pertaining to the matter, and reviewed the various legal reservations and difficulties that may arise, in both the Israeli and the international legal arenas: "Previous High Court rulings on the matter do not offer explicit legal impediment against the tearing down of (terrorists') houses, but there are substantial legal difficulties involved."


Any such decision, he added "must be made on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with Shin Bet and military assessments, and it must be coordinated with the Justice Ministry."


Following Wednesday's attack in Jerusalem, both Olmert and Barak voiced an opinion calling for the razing of 31-year-old Dawyyat's house in east Jerusalem.


The National Security Cabinet is expected to discuss the recent incidents in which those who carry out terror attacks in Jerusalem turned out to be east Jerusalem Arabs, who carry an Israeli ID.


פרסום ראשון: 07.03.08, 23:43
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