Dep. Defense Minister: Bulldoze Abductor's Homes
Deputy Defense Minister, MK Danny Danon (Likud-Beytenu), called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to take immediate action against the families of the terrorists who abducted the three teenagers, Gilad Sha'ar, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrah, on June 12.
Speaking at the Likud faction meeting, Danon said to Netanyahu: “In last week's meeting, you announced the demolition of the home of Ziyad Awad, the terrorist who murdered Col. Baruch Mizrahi z”l, but the High Court has not yet decided on the matter.”
"Time has critical meaning in the creation of deterrence,” he continued. “It is time to send bulldozers to the homes of the terrorists involved in the abduction of the three boys.”
Netanyahu answered Danon positively, saying that “the subject is currently at the focus of intense discussion” with the legal system and the Attorney General. “There is a will to widen the activity as regards the demolition of terrorist homes and to deport terror operatives to Gaza.”
Netanyahu said last Monday that the state intends to demolish the home of Awad. "I have given instructions to tear down the home of the terrorist. He is a Hamas operative and that is part of the effort that we make to fight Hamas,” he said. Demolition notices were stapled to the home but the family filed an appeal to the High Court.
Home demolitions were commonly used as punishment for terrorists in the 60s, 70s and 80s, and were also used for a time during the Second Intifada, but were abandoned over time under pressure from leftist groups and left-leaning elements in the judicial system.
True to form, far-left NGO B'tselem is upset with the decision to tear down Awad's home.
“The intention to raze the home of the defendants in the killing of Baruch Mizrahi means the adoption of a formal policy of harming innocents,” the group said. “The two people accused of carrying out the terror attack will be tried and if they are convicted, will face prolonged jail sentences. The heavy price of the demolition of their home will not be paid by them but by their relatives, who are not suspected of any offense. Two families, numbering 13 people, including eight children, live in the home.”
The demolition “stems from a quest for revenge and and political capital, while exploiting the angry climate in Israel following the abduction events,” the group added. “This is a draconian punishment that has not been used for a decade, except one case in 2009.”
Mizrahi's widow, meanwhile, has urged the Supreme Court to reject an appeal to prevent the demolition.
"We are talking about suicide," she said, referring to the petition to prevent the demolition. "Look at us. We are innocent people who are suffering. We were driving to the [Passover] Seder in our car when [the terrorist] shot at us, he hit Baruch in the head, I managed to hide our children."
"He ran away," she said, through tears. "What cruelty is this! We did nothing wrong, we were innocent."
Mizrahi warned that preventing the demolition from going through would be a missed opportunity to deter future terrorists.
"Maybe demolishing this house will be a deterrent," she cried. "I am crying to the State of Israel: take care of us. We are your people!"