(photo credit: REUTERS)
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked on Thursday made a major departure from a past position, telling Israel Radio, “If there are more terrorist attacks by Jews, we will also demolish the houses of Jews.”
Until now, when Shaked has repeatedly been asked why it is legal for the state to demolish Palestinian terrorists’ houses, but not Jewish terrorists’ houses, she has answered that there are not enough Jewish terrorists to justify such a step.
On Thursday, Shaked volunteered that, theoretically, the state might start to demolish Jewish terrorists’ houses in the future.
“The justice system does not discriminate between blood and blood,” Shaked said. “The story of house demolitions is different, because it’s not a punishment, it’s a step toward deterrence.
“If there are more terrorist attacks by Jews, we will also demolish the houses of Jews. If we are lucky, and hopefully it continues that Jews only perpetrate terrorist attacks very rarely, so there is no need for this deterrent effect.” However, she added, “if the situation changes, then definitely” the state would demolish Jewish terrorists’ houses.
Even as house demolitions of Palestinian terrorists are popular domestically in many sectors, the government has taken hard criticism internationally for the demolitions.
The High Court of Justice has approved most demolitions, though it has blocked two in recent months and in one case Justice Menahem Mazuz questioned whether the general legality of the demolitions should be revisited.
Since the infamous burning alive of Arab teenager Muhammad Abu Khdeir in Jerusalem in 2014 and the firebombing murders of three members of the Dawabsha family in Duma in late July, there have also been rising calls from critics to demolish Jewish terrorists’ houses if the policy of demolishing Arab terrorists’ houses is to continue.