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Israel's High Court Approves Demolition of Sarona Attackers' Homes

In turning down petitions by assailants' families almost completely, court gives green light to destroying all of one home, upper floors of other.

Israel's High Court of Justice on Sunday denied petitions by the families of the two terrorists who committed the shooting attack at Tel Aviv's Sarona Market last month, thus allowing the demolition of the families’ homes to go ahead.
Justice Esther Hayut, Uri Shoham and Uzi Vogelman unanimously approved the demolition, except for the lower story of one of the attackers’ homes.
The two attackers, Khaled Mahamra and Mahmoud Mahamra, are cousins who lived in Yatta and Khirbet Reka near Hebron. They killed four Israelis and wounded 41 in the attack.
Khaled’s family, represented by Hamoked: The Center for the Defense of the Individual, argued in the petition that there was no connection between him and the house slated for demolition; for the past two-and-a-half years Khaled had been studying in Jordan and would come home infrequently. The family also claimed that he returned home only just prior to his arrest because he had decided to stop his studies and work in Israel illegally for a few months.
Mahmoud’s family, also represented by Hamoked, argued that the lower floors of their home should not be destroyed, since Mahmoud lived on the third floor, in a separate unit. The other floors house the parents and four of their eight children, as well as a large storeroom and a candy factory that provides the family with its livelihood.
The family also argued that had they known of Mahmoud’s plans in advance, they would have immediate taken steps to prevent him from taking part in the attack.
In response, the state argued that it had classified information showing that Mahmoud’s brother was privy to Mahmoud’s intent to carry out the attack, as well as information about the father’s access in recent years to weapons.
Justice Shoham wrote in his opinion that the court should totally reject the petition by Khaled’s family and partially accept Mahmoud’s family’s petition by demolishing only the third floor.
“There’s a need to take exceptional steps to create the required deterrence, in order to try and limit as much as possible the criminal terrorist activity that does not balk at the indiscriminate murder of Jews just because they’re Jews,” Shoham wrote.
His colleague Hayut concurred with Shoham’s ruling, as did Vogelman, although he added a personal objection in principle to demolishing the homes of terrorists’ families.
“As I’ve already said elsewhere, although I do not share what’s stated in it, this regulation [allowing such demolition] obligates us until it is changed, if ever, by an expanded panel,” Vogelman wrote, and added, “On this basis I submit to the response reached by my colleagues.”

Sharon Pulwer
Haaretz Correspondent

read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.733124Schermata 2016 07 27 alle 23.11.10

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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