Sarona Market attack
Sarona Market attackIsrael Police

The Israeli Supreme Court has approved the demolition of the homes of the two Islamist terrorists who murdered four people at Tel Aviv's Sarona Market last month.

Supreme Court Justices Esther Chayot, Uzi Fogelman and Uri Shoham rejected appeals by the families of the killers against the demolitions - a measure often used by Israel to punish the support networks behind terrorist attackers and to act as a deterrent against potential future attackers.

However, in the case of one of the families the court did limit the demolition order to the third floor of the home only, as that was where the terrorist had lived. This, despite the military's urging to destroy both the first and third floors to act as an effective deterrent.

According to the IDF "destroying just the third floor - which is built on (only) part of the house, that is in practice only a small part of the house - will not bring about the necessary deterrent."

The court also rejected the State's position that the structure in question was one home used by all members of the terrorist's family, including himself.

In its ruling, the court said that despite the fact that the terrorists' family members did not have prior knowledge of their specific intentions relating to the deadly attack "there is reason to believe that the atmosphere in the homes of the terrorists encouraged them, to some extent, to be involved in (terrorism) against Israelis."

The court also rejected claims from the defense of discrimination, in that similar demolition orders are not applied against Jewish terrorists.

In responding to that aspect of the appeal, the judges noted that attacks by Jewish extremists were far rarer than by Arabs, and that therefore there is no similarly urgent need to provide a deterrent.

Ido Ben-Ari of Ramat Gan, Ilana Naavah of Tel Aviv, Dr. Michael Feige of Ramat Gan and Milah Misheiv of Rishon Letzion were all murdered in the attack, carried out by two ISIS-inspired Palestinian terrorist gunmen.