The Supreme Court on Sunday canceled home-demolition orders for three of the four Palestinians accused of taking part in a deadly rock-throwing attack in September that caused the death of an Israeli motorist.
On September 13, 2015, Alexander Levlovitz, 64, was driving home from a Rosh Hashanah meal when stonethrowers attacked his car in southern Jerusalem, causing him to drive into a pole and killing him.
Four Palestinians from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Tsur Baher were indicted over the attack. Courts ruled that the central suspect, Abed Dawidat, who was 17 at the time of the attack, was the one who threw the deadly rock and stood closest to Levlovitz’s car in the island dividing two lanes of traffic.
“From the administrative evidence and the indictment, the three are charged as accessories due to their presence at the event, the stones they threw at other passing vehicles and the handing of stones to Dawidat,” Justice Esther Hayut wrote in the decision, according to the Ynet news site.
“With that, no one disputes that the throwing of the killing stone was done by Dawidat alone, who stood, as noted, on the traffic island and threw from a very short distance while the others stood farther away.”
The three accessories, Hayut ruled, “had a far smaller part in the incident than Dawidat.”
Security forces had prepared to fill the apartments of the three assailants with concrete, a means of demolition that does not cause harm to other apartments in the building.
The Sunday ruling cancels the demolition order for the three assailants and gives final approval for the demolition of Dawidat’s home.
Israeli officials have said home demolitions against assailants and their families are a deterrent against future terror attacks.
However, critics say the measure is a form of collective punishment.
Homes of 11 Palestinian assailants have been demolished by security forces since Sepember — of them, three were for attacks carried out in 2014 or mid-2015, before the latest wave of violence.
Another 124 attackers’ homes were mapped and examined by IDF engineers in preparation for demolition, but are pending court approvals to carry them out. Six demolition orders are awaiting implementation, and seven preliminary warnings have been issued, according to Ynet.
In the past six months, 29 Israelis and four foreign nationals have been killed in attacks by Palestinians. Nearly 200 Palestinians have also been killed, some two-thirds of them while attacking Israelis, and the rest during clashes with troops, according to the Israeli army.