House of Memorial Day attack terrorist not to be demolished

Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher; Photo credit: Honenu

Wednesday, May 26, 2021, 16:24 In a reply to the petition to the Supreme Court requesting the demolition of the house of the terrorist who stabbed Batya Lebel, the State of Israel agreed that his acts were, in fact, extremely serious, but due to the time that has elapsed since the attack, the house should not be demolished. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing Lebel, noted that the delay was solely due to the State, both in the initial request to the GOC of the Central Command, Major-General Nadav Padan, and the State’s reply to the Supreme Court, which was repeatedly delayed.
In an attack near the G Mall in K’far Saba on Israeli Memorial Day in April 2020, Lebel, who was 62 years old at the time, was viciously stabbed 13 times before a passer-by shot and incapacitated the terrorist. Approximately two months later, she turned to Honenu for legal counsel and the organization subsequently filed a request on her behalf for the terrorist’s house to be demolished. After four months had passed, the State denied the request due to the policy of the High Court of Justice regarding the demolition of terrorists’ houses. Honenu filed a petition with the High Court of Justice demanding that they answer whether or not, even with an attack as serious as this one and even when the army is of the opinion that the demolition will help deter terrorists, they will prevent the demolition. See here and here for more details.
The State responded to the petition: “First of all, the State is of the opinion that the acts attributed to the terrorist are serious acts, criminal and abominable: The crimes attributed to him, are among the most serious in the law books, and the acts attributed to the terrorist indicate his cruelty and his will and his determination to cause the death of an innocent man.
“Nevertheless, at this time there are no grounds for exercising authority regarding the terrorist’s house, in light of the time that has elapsed since the date of carrying out the attack.”
It must be noted that the State of Israel had delayed approximately four months before replying to the request to demolish the house.
Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing Lebel, strongly criticized the reply from the State: “Not demolishing the house of the despicable terrorist has constituted a serious failure from the first moment. The injured party, and we as her representatives, did everything that we could to bring about the demolition of the terrorist’s house, we used all of the means at our disposal, and without delay in relation to the information and the response we received the entire time.
“On the other hand, the State delayed giving their response and actively dragged out the process of demolishing the house. As of now, they have not given us a reply as to why the house will not be demolished, other than [citing] the High Court of Justice and its policy. We demand that the army not evade their responsibility for our security by passing it on to the justices of the High Court of Justice. Terror must be fought uncompromisingly, because every capitulation in the face of terror constitutes an existential threat to us all.”
The Im Tirzu organization, which has been assisting Batya Lebel, also responded to the announcement by the State: “We regret that representatives of the State have relinquished one of the most powerful forms of deterrence against terror. Senior members of the security forces have asserted time after time that demolishing terrorists’ houses is a deterrence and also have reiterated that during Operation Defensive Shield, demolishing terrorists’ houses was effective also in response to attacks carried out several years previously.
“It is inconceivable that a situation in which they try to injure us will be answered with a weak response. The State of Israel must not fear and must fight terror head-on. The State’s current stance is weakening the deterrence factor and, in practice, facilitating the next attack.”

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