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Home of Palestinian murder suspect can be razed, Israeli court rules

JTA

July 1, 2014 | 8:37 am

<em>Ziad Awad and his son in Israeli Military court on June 23. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90</em>

Ziad Awad and his son in Israeli Military court on June 23. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

The army can raze the home of a Palestinian indicted in the Passover eve murder of a senior police officer, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled.

The family of Ziad Awad on Tuesday morning was given 12 hours to remove its possessions from the West Bank residence in Idhna Village, near Hebron, before the demolition order takes effect. Awad has been charged in the April 14 murder of Police Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrachi.

The apartment at the top of the building, where Awad resided, is set to be demolished, but two other apartments and storage areas owned by Awad’s brother will remain intact, according to the court order.

Awad allegedly fired at civilian vehicles traveling near Hebron, killing Mizrachi, critically injuring his wife and wounding a child traveling in a second car. The shooter fled the scene.

Awad and his son, Izz Eddin Hassan Ziad Awad, 18, were arrested last month.

The teen admitted under questioning that his father ​had shared with him his intentions to execute a terror attack against Israelis on Passover.

Awad, who was released in the 2011 Shalit prisoner exchange, is a Hamas operative who has been jailed previously for the murder of Palestinians who were believed to be cooperating with Israeli security forces. Awad told his son, according to the IDF, that “according to the Islamic religion, those who kill Jews go to heaven.” The son led police to the weapon used in the attack.

The Supreme Court justices said in their decision that despite pleas that the home not be destroyed because it would harm other innocent family members, the family shared the guilt because it was aware of Ziad Awad’s plans and collaborated with him.

The HaMoked Center for Defense of the Individual said in a statement issued after the court decision that “house demolitions constitute collective punishment, and are contrary to both international law and the basic precept of Israeli law that a person must not be punished for the acts of others. The demolition of houses does not replace criminal punishment but supplements it, and its chief victims are the occupants of the demolished house rather than the alleged perpetrator, who in most cases has been imprisoned or killed."

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