Was the destruction in Kumi Ori illegal?

Residents attempting to construct tents; Photo credit: Avraham Shapira

Kumi Ori, post-destruction; Photo credit: Avraham Shapira

Wednesday, May 6, 2020, 13:55 On April 22, the Hasdai family’s house was destroyed in the Kumi Ori neighborhood of Yitzhar. Hasdai had been issued neither a demolition order nor a stop-work order for construction, only a demarcation order. Additionally, during the construction army commanders saw that the house was taking shape and by their inaction in practice authorized Hasdai to build. Thus the destruction came suddenly and “contrary to the de facto authorization that Hasdai had received at the site,” as Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado stated in a letter sent to the public complaints department of the Central Command stating that the destruction was illegal.
The central claim in the letter is that the demarcation order, on which the army based justification for destroying the house, does not authorize demolition, only removal of the residents. The intent of the demarcation order is for possessions to remain and for them to be returned to the owner. Despite that, the house was destroyed.
The house was constructed of panels that could have been easily dismantled without damage. Additionally, the explicitly destructive intent is proven by the fact that the tractors buried the parts of the structure after their destruction, “and therefore definitely there is no explanation other than an illegal intent to destroy the parts of the structure, without authorization and in violation of the law.”
Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado added that “The destruction and damage were unjust and illogical.” The damages amount to tens of thousands of shekels. In the conclusion of his letter Yado requested a response from the Central Command about the matter.

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