Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz Sunday
decided to demolish the homes of the murderers of the Fogel family, subject to
legal approval, Army Radio reported Sunday morning.
The move to destroy
the homes of Hakim and Ajmad Awad – who murdered five members of the Fogel
family in Itamar in March 2011 – was recommended by the Shin Bet (Israel
In the coming weeks the Knesset legal adviser’s office
will discuss the subject. The recommendation comes despite the decision made in
2005 to cease the policy of demolishing houses by way of
“This is one of the most brutal terrorist attacks ever, and
the Shin Bet thinks that demolition is a punitive step that may deter other
terrorists from carrying out such tragic crimes,” Army Radio quoted Shin Bet
former head Yaakov Perry as saying.
The Shin Bet explained that along
with the deterrent effect, several of the killers’ relatives helped after the
attack by concealing the weapons and destroying evidence.
was in agreement on the issue. Army Radio reported that IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen.
Yoav Mordechai sent a letter to Gantz’s office saying that “the demolition of
houses at this stage could be interpreted as an act of vengeance which will lead
to a flare-up in the area.”
He added that the move could lead to severe
criticism in the media.
Meretz party leader Zehava Gal-On also reacted,
saying that while the “abominable murderers of the Fogel family should rot in
jail,” she did not understand “the political impulse to destroy their families’
homes, after the IDF itself abolished the use of house demolitions as a method
of punishment, because it is inefficient and immoral.”
obviously no deterrent effect or security need in the process, except for
political need for the settlers,” Gal-On added.
Yisrael Katz also weighed in on the discussion, praising the decision to
demolish the homes of the terrorists’ families.
“This step is correct and
necessary,” Katz said. “Home demolition will deter terrorists from attacking
Jews, and make it clear to the families that aided and raised the dastardly
murderers that they will also pay the price.”
Katz went further,
expressing his opinion that the death sentence was appropriate for the Fogel
family murderers “who committed one of the most despicable, revolting crimes.”