Daily Israel Report

MK: Punish Prosecutor who Ignored Orders on Migron

MK Ben-Ari calls to punish a state prosecutor who ignored a court order and state protocol to push forward the Migron demolitions.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 9/20/2011, 2:13 PM

Demolished home in Migron
Demolished home in Migron
Flash 90

The state must take steps to punish a prosecutor who disregarded protocol in order to allow the demolition of homes in Migron despite a court order, MK Michael Ben-Ari said Tuesday. Ben-Ari has turned to Attorney General Yehudah Weinstein in the matter.

State Prosecutor Osnat Mandel, head of the High Court Department, has admitted to ignoring a court order that would have delayed the demolition. Mandel told a Foreign Affairs and Defense subcommittee that she had received phone calls from a number of senior officials, among them Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Central Command head Major-General Avi Mizrachi, asking her to void the order so that demolition could proceed as scheduled.

Mandel did not have the power to make that decision alone, Ben-Ari said. Standard protocol required her to first inform Cabinet Secretary Tzvi Hauser and Minister Benny Begin, he explained.

“This action on Ms. Mandel’s part reveals, in my humble opinion, a clear and blatant trend led by the High Court Department against Israeli settlement in Judea and Samaria,” Ben-Ari told Weinstein. “I have no doubt that if the issue at hand involved the destruction of an Arab or Bedouin village, Ms. Mandel would have acted according to accepted protocol, and not decided to act alone.”

The result of Mandel’s decision was “throwing babies (including a two-week-old baby) out of their beds,” Ben-Ari continued.

The fact that the demolition took place late at night was in itself a violation of human rights, he added. He quoted a Jerusalem District Court ruling given by Judge Drori regarding the demolition of the Federman family farm in the middle of the night:

“Let each man judge for himself how he would respond if a police captain approached him at 1:30 at night wanting to give him a closure order, in order to expel him from his home, while his wife and nine young children are deep in sleep. Their father sees himself as responsible for their safety, their security, and their continued rest, without disturbance… I did not get any explanation why the state chose to evict a man with a family including a wife and nine young children, at 1:30 a.m. It is not clear to me how this act can be reconciled with the state’s obligation to protect the children, as per international commitments regarding children’s rights, which Israel has signed.”