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Israeli forces to use permit laws to dodge court ruling, demolish home

Dec. 15, 2015 6:20 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 15, 2015 6:20 P.M.)
File photo of a demolished Palestinian home in Anata.(MaanImages/Anna Kokko)
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces in occupied East Jerusalem issued on Tuesday a demolition order for the home of a Palestinian who carried out an attack on an Israeli bus in October, the family told Ma'an.

The family said that Israeli forces issued the demolition order to the family of Bahaa Elayyan for the entire building under the pretext of not having obtained a building permit from Israeli authorities before constructing the home. The building, in East Jerusalem's Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood, houses 25 people on three floors.

The family was originally given a demolition notice on Nov. 12 for only the second floor of the building, where Elayyan lived, however the Israeli courts reportedly ruled against the punitive demolition.

The family told Ma'an that using permit laws to order the demolition of the home is just a way to get around the court ruling.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expedited punitive home demolitions the day after Bahaa carried out the attack alongside Bilal Abu-Ghanem, 23, also a Jabal al-Mukabbir resident.

The move came despite past recommendations by an Israeli military committee that the practice did not deter future attacks.

While families who receive demolition orders are given the opportunity to appeal the measures, Israel’s High Court of Justice typically rejects such appeals, according to Israeli watchdog Hamoked.

Israeli rights group B’Tselem meanwhile condemned the practice last month as “court sanctioned revenge” carried out on family members who have not committed crimes, amounting to collective punishment.

In addition home demolitions, punitive measures including withholding the bodies of Palestinians involved in attacks, arbitrary detention of family members, and closure of neighborhoods have also been implemented in East Jerusalem.

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