The village of Awarta
The Shin Bet has recently presented the Defense Minister Ehud Barak with a recommendation to approve the demolition of the homes of Amjad and Hakim Awad who murdered the Fogel family from Itamar over a year ago.
According to the recommendation the houses in the village of Awarta should be destroyed as part of the deterrence mechanism against Palestinian families who give refuge to members of the family involved in terrorism.
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The trial of the two terrorists recently ended at the military court with multiple life sentences handed down for both culprits. Yet during the investigation the Shin Bet discovered that the relatives of Hakim and Amjad hid evidence and aided the two murderers in covering up their tracks.
Amjad Awad during trial (Photo: Gil Nehoshtan)
The Shin Bet said on Sunday that "the organization's recommendation mainly relies upon the need to strengthen the aspect of deterrence among potential terrorists.
"In this case, the general need for deterrence is strengthened by a concrete consideration that stems from the fact that several of the terrorists' family members offered them assistance after the terror attack – by hiding the weapons stolen during the attack and by covering up the act through the destruction of evidence."
The Shin Bet denied that there are legal officials who are opposed to the move and mentioned a number of verdicts from the last decade where it was determined that the demolition of houses was legal and that there was no room, from the High Court's perspective, to intervene in these decisions.
"That was the case in the ruling over the destruction of the house of the terrorist responsible for the Merkaz Ha Rav yeshiva attack in 2005 and the destruction of the home of the terrorist who carried out the terrorist attack in Jerusalem in 2008," Shin Bet officials noted.
A meeting on the matter is set to take place over the next few weeks at the Attorney General's office with IDF and Defense Ministry representatives.
At first, Awarta village chiefs denied any connection between their village and the Itamar massacre but at the same time, after their arrest, the two murderers became idols in their village, according to defense establishment sources, with support banners and their pictures hung up throughout Awarta.
Meretz Chairwoman Zahava Gal-On criticized the Shin Bet: "The abominable murderers of the Fogel family must rot in prison. But I do not understand the political impetus to demolish their families homes after the IDF itself aborted the use of home demolition as a punishment mechanism since it is ineffective and immoral.
"It is clear that there is no deterrence effect and no security requirement for the move other than a political need towards the settlers."
Itamar Fleishman contributed to the report
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