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Israel's Supreme Court approves pre-conviction punitive house demolition

December 3, 2018 at 11:32 am

Palestinians watch the demolition of their home in Jordan Valley on 7 November 2017 [Nedal Eshtayah/Anadolu Agency]

Israel’s Supreme Court yesterday backed a decision by the army to carry out a punitive home demolition in Am’ari refugee camp in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

The petition was brought by the family of Islam Yousef Abu Hamid, who has been charged by Israeli occupation authorities with throwing a marble slab from a roof at invading Israeli soldiers during a night time raid of the camp in May. One soldier was hit on the head and died.

The ruling came despite the fact that Abu Hamid has not yet even been convicted. The court also supported the planned demolition of all four storeys of the building in question.

According to the report, Justice Yael Wilner rejected the Palestinian family’s petition “saying that Israeli military courts are not legally required to wait for a conviction before issuing demolition orders”. Israeli military courts have a near 100 per cent conviction rate of Palestinians.

In the court’s “unanimous decision”, Wilner acknowledged that razing the entire building would harm a number of unconnected residents, but claimed that the need to establish deterrence “did not justify reducing the scope of the demolition order”.

The Israeli soldier who died was a staff sergeant in the so-called elite Duvdevan unit.

READ: Sick, elderly woman homeless as Israel demolishes her home