Defense minister calls to expand home demolitions for all terrorists

''There is no difference between an attack that ends in murder and an attack that ends in serious injury,'' says Lieberman.

October 29, 2017 13:21
1 minute read.

Avigdor Liberman . (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Sunday said he is actively consulting with the IDF and legal advisers about expanding the criteria for demolishing terrorists’ homes to include those who seriously wound Israelis in attacks.

Asserting that “there is no difference between an attack that ends in murder and an attack that ends in serious injury,” Liberman contends that the threat of home demolitions for all attempted murders will serve as a powerful deterrent against future terrorists.

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Presently, home demolitions are reserved for terrorists who kill their victims, but not for those who maim Israeli’s.

“Demolishing homes of murderous terrorists has proven to be an effective deterrence tool in the struggle against terror against those who plan to commit attacks,” the defense minister said. “The war against terror requires that we be steadfast and operate in different ways, and with a mighty hand against those who try to harm us.”

Following a nine-year moratorium on home demolitions, the controversial practice was reintroduced in 2014 amid a protracted spike of deadly attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
IDF Blows up the home of terrorist who killed border police woman Hadas Malka (courtesy IDF)

While the UN, EU and leftwing groups condemn demolitions as inhumane, a 2015 study published in the Journal of Politics called “Counter-Suicide Terrorism: Evidence from House Demolitions”, found that the measure results in “an immediate, significant decrease in the number of suicide attacks.

Coauthored by researchers from Northwestern University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the findings ran contrary to the widely held belief that punitive home demolitions do not dissuade potential terrorists.

The study, which examined data on punitive home demolitions between 2000 and 2005 – as well as precautionary demolitions from 2004 to 2005 – determined that home demolitions during that time led to “fewer suicide attacks in the following month.”

However, it found that precautionary demolitions caused “a significant increase in the number of suicide attacks.”


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