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Israel's High Court rules to seal room of Palestinian home

June 17, 2015 11:55 A.M. (Updated: June 23, 2015 10:39 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- The Israeli High Court on Tuesday ruled that a room in the home of a Palestinian family residing in the al-Thuri neighborhood of Jerusalem must be sealed, family members said.

Uday Hijazi told Ma’an that the room slated for permanent closure was the bedroom of his brother Muataz, 32, who was shot dead by undercover Israeli officers on suspicion that he shot and critically wounded activist Yehuda Glick in October 2014.

A lawyer representing Glick recommended that the court should order the complete demolition of the family house, Hijazi said.

The family, he added, hasn’t yet received any reports from the Israeli authorities with the findings of an alleged investigation into the “targeted-assassination of Muataz," and relatives are still waiting to receive belongings confiscated by Israeli forces confiscated after Muataz' death.

US-born Glick is a radical rightist who leads controversial visits under Israeli armed guard to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and advocates for the mosque's replacement with a Jewish temple.

Hours after an attack on Glick, Israeli forces shot Muataz over 20 times during a raid on his home, with relatives saying that he was deliberately killed by Israeli police when he could have been detained and given due process.

The decision by the High Court to seal Muataz' bedroom and appeal by Glick's lawyer to demolish the family's home come as Israeli policies use home demolitions as a punitive measure against Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

In the case of car attacks on Israelis by Palestinians earlier this year, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the demolition of the homes of the attackers in an effort to deter future attacks.

This policy of punitive demolitions received criticism due to the fact that demolitions punished individuals who hadn't committed crimes, the family and often-times extended family of the attacker.

Following an initial demolition order issued by Israeli authorities to the Hijazi family earlier this year, Israeli rights group B'Tselem said that punitive house demolitions are "fundamentally wrong" and contravene "basic moral standards by punishing people for the misdeeds of others," arguing that such policies exacerbate tensions rather than deter future attacks.

Human Rights Watch documented five separate instances where Israeli forces demolished or sealed the homes of Palestinians suspected of killing Israelis in 2014, estimating dozens of family members were left homeless as a result.

The Hijazi family did not specify on Tuesday the expected date of the closure of Muataz' room.
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