Homes of suspected kidnappers can be razed, court rules

Israel’s Supreme Court dismissed objections to an order to demolish the homes of the suspected kidnappers and murderers of three Israeli teens in June.

In its Aug. 12 ruling, the court said it found no reason to intervene in the razing of the homes by the Israeli army, scheduled for Aug. 14.

The suspects’ families argued that the home demolitions constitute collective punishment and that the suspects have not yet been found guilty, according to the daily Haaretz. The decision was hypocritical, they also argued, because the army is not demolishing the houses of the Jewish extremists who kidnapped and killed a Palestinian teen, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, last month.

The court accepted the Israeli army’s argument, which said the home demolitions aim to deter Palestinians from future terrorist acts. The court rejected the claim that the murders of the three teens and Khdeir are equal. The Israeli government has ruled that the kidnapping and murder of Khdeir was terrorism.

The three suspects — Amer Abu Aisheh and brothers Marwan and Hussam Qawasmeh — are accused of kidnapping and murdering Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach. Only Hussam Qawasmeh, who is suspected of aiding in the crime, is in Israeli custody; the others remain at large. — jta