Daily Israel Report

High Court Deadline for Razing Heroes' Homes Draws Near

The state has to provide a timetable for demolition of IDF heroes' homes in Eli by April 16. The cabinet will discuss the matter after the holiday.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 4/1/2010, 6:45 PM / Last Update: 4/1/2010, 6:48 PM

Israel new photo: composite

In a session immediately after the Passover holiday, the cabinet is expected to discuss the demolition order against a neighborhood that includes the homes of fallen war heroes Major Roi Klein and Major Eliraz Peretz.

In a decision handed down February 16, High Court President Dorit Beinisch and Judges Elyakim Rubinstein and Yoram Danziger gave the state 60 days to complete the hearings it is conducting regarding the demolition and present a timetable for its execution. This means a timetable is due mid April. 

Danon vows to fight
MK Danny Danon (Likud) visited Thursday the home of the Peretz family at Givat HaYovel in the community of Eli, north of Jerusalem. He told the mother of Major Peretz, who was killed in Gaza Friday, that he will "do everything" to prevent the demolition of homes in the neighborhood, and added: “If need be I will use my immunity in order to stop the razing of the homes.”

The home of the Peretz family, as well as the home of the family of Major Ro'i Klein, who died heroically in the Second Lebanon War, are slated for demolition. The High Court has ruled that 12 homes in the neighborhood were illegally built and issued a deadline by which the state must provide a timetable for the destruction, despite the state's own announcement that it was “examining alternatives” to demolition of the homes “in order to resolve the issue."     

Unprecedented problem
The decision places the state in an unprecedented situation: while the homes of fallen IDF soldiers – and even their graves – have been razed and uprooted in the past, most notably in the Expulsion of 2005, this is the first time in recent memory that a demolition order centers on the homes of such high-profile war heroes.

Maj. Klein is famous for having leapt on a live hand grenade, saving his soldiers and calling out the “Shema Yisrael” incantation before he died. He provided one of the few tales of heroism in the Second Lebanon War, which was largely seen as a less-than-spectacular success. Maj. Peretz, a charismatic commander, is one of the two most recent casualties in Gaza. The order for demolishing their homes is an affront to the most basic Israeli consensual value – the sanctity of the IDF and its heroes.  

Danon wrote a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is which he said – “Even before the unveiling of Eliraz's tombstone, his house will be destroyed and will turn into a memorial tombstone for for a Jewish neighborhood in Israel, for the security of which Eliraz fought. The nation voted in the Likud in order to maintain our existing assets and the communities, and we must find every way to make every neighborhood in Judea and Samaria as 'kosher' as a neighborhood in Ra'anana or Rehovot.”