Relatives of Yosef, Chaya and Elad Salomon, who were stabbed to death in the Halamish settlement in July, filed a petition to the High Court of Justice Wednesday, demanding the destruction of the entire home of the terrorist responsible for the murders.
While the IDF had planned to demolish the home of Omar al-Abed in its entirety, rights groups petitioned the High Court, challenging the move’s legality. The court ruled to accept their appeal partially, ruling that only the first floor, where the 19-year-old terrorist had lived needed to be destroyed, while the remainder of the home, where other relatives reside, should be spared.
In August, the IDF moved forward with sealing the first floor of the home, in the West Bank village of Kobar.
However, later that month, a military court convicted five of al-Abed’s family members of failing to prevent the attack. According to the Judea Regional Court, the family members “knew of [Omar al-Abed’s] intention to carry out the attack and did not work to inform the security services as needed to prevent it.”
Two of al-Abed’s brothers and an uncle were sentenced to eight months in prison. His father, Abd al-Jalil, was sentenced to two months in prison, and his mother, Ibtisam, was sentenced to one month.
“Unfortunately, the partial destruction of the house leaves the land in the hands of the family, and allows for the future reconstruction of the building. This is not enough of a deterrence, particularly for such a grave incident,” the Salomons wrote in their High Court petition.
“The Salomon family’s petition represents the voice of the entire people of Israel, who are tired of compromising their security to further the rights of terrorists and their enablers,” said the Salomon’s legal representative, Chayim Bleicher of the right-wing Honenu legal aid group, in a statement.
Israel defends the demolishing terrorists’ homes as an effective means of deterring future attacks, though the practice has been criticized as a form of collective punishment.
Al-Abed killed the three the members of the Salomon family on July 21 after sneaking into the Halamish settlement. The family had been about to celebrate the birth of a new grandson and let him in, thinking that he was the first of their guests to arrive.
There has been considerable political support, notably from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for seeking the death penalty against Abed, but the Military Advocate General’s office, which will try the case in an IDF court, said that the punishment is not Israeli policy, despite it being permissible under law.