Terrorist home demolitions postponed – but progress made

Despite delays and postponements over the demolition of terrorists’ homes, the entire process has become much easier than in the past, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) revealed in an Arutz Sheva interview Sunday.

“You have to understand that there are several steps until we can demolish a home – the opinion of the Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet – ed.) […] its links to the family, family objections – and then in most cases the family petitions the High Court.”

“This whole process would take ten months,” she noted. “Today it takes three weeks.”

Shaked also noted that the most recent postponement, the demolition of seven terrorists’ homes, was made in part due to expedited proceedings. The High Court held a hearing on a Thursday, scheduled follow-up hearings for Monday and the next Thursday, and issued a ruling one week later.

“It was very fast,” she said. “Even they understood the urgency.”

Justice Uzi Fogelman’s postponement did not indicate that the High Court would not destroy the homes, she added – just that the hearings on them were pushed off for the time being. She also remained unfazed by the Court’s decision to take several days to reexamine the issue, rather than a matter of hours.

Shaked rejected the idea that the spike in terror and Palestinian incitement should allow for the Court to bypass protocol and destroy terrorists’ homes immediately.

“Once [Justice Meir] Shamgar ruled in the late sixties that the Palestinians have the right to stand before the Court – and sometimes we are talking about Israeli Arabs, Jerusalem residents who petition the High Court – you can’t knock down that hurdle,” she said. ‘The defense system takes time to do its work.”

She added that, even with expedited proceedings, the most realistic time frame would be a ruling within ten days, to give families the time to move.