scene of Ariel stabbing attack
scene of Ariel stabbing attackNasser Eshtieh/Flash 90

The Supreme Court today (Monday) approved the demolition of the home of Mohammad Murad Sami Sof, the terrorist who murdered three people in a stabbing attack in the Samaria city of Ariel in November 2022.

Justices Uzi Vogelman and Gila Canfy-Steinitz wrote the majority opinion rejecting the petition by the terrorist's family and the HaMoked Center for the Defense of the Individual organization against the demolition order.

Justice Anat Baron wrote a minority opinion stating that the demolition order should be at least temporarily suspended because the terrorist's family, which includes four small children, were not involved in the deadly attack.

Justice Baron wrote that "without detracting from the terrible severity of the acts of murder and violence committed by the perpetrator, it must be said clearly that the authority given to the military commander to order the demolition of houses is intended for a preventive and not a punitive purpose."

"As a general rule, demolishing a house solely on the basis of the seriousness of the acts committed against the victim, without giving weight to the degree of knowledge or involvement of his family members in his acts, does not meet the test of proportionality," she added.

She warned that the deterrent effect of home demolitions was unquantifiable, it was also possible, in her opinion, that the act of demolishing the homes of terrorists could incite further terrorist attacks against Jews.

She noted: "In the house designated for demolition live the mother of the attacker and his five siblings, four of whom are minors (the youngest of whom is about two and a half years old). There is no dispute that the family members had no involvement or knowledge regarding his murderous actions, and even in retrospect they did not show support for the actions. Under these circumstances, I believe that the order given to demolish the house is disproportionate, and therefore, if my opinion were followed, we would issue a conditional order in [favor of] the petition'' against the demolition.

During the attack, the terrorist murdered Motti Ashkenazi, Tamir Avihay, and Michael Ledigin, and wounded four other people at three locations in and around the city of Ariel.