(photo credit: REUTERS)
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked on Thursday made a major departure from a past position she has held, telling Israel Radio that “if there will be more terror attacks by Jews, we will also do house demolitions of Jews.”
Until now, when Shaked has repeatedly been asked, including by The Jerusalem Post, about why it is legal for the state to demolish Palestinian terrorists’ houses, but not Jewish terrorists houses, she has answered there are not enough Jewish terrorists to justify the step, and stopped there.
On Thursday, Shaked echoed similar sentiments, but went a big step further in a way that might anger her right-wing constituency, in volunteering that theoretically the state might start to demolish Jewish terrorists’ houses in the future.
Shaked stated, "the justice system does not discriminate between blood and blood. The story of house demolitions is different because it's not a punishment, it's a step toward deterrence.”
“If there will be more terror attacks by Jews, we will also do house demolitions of Jews. If we are lucky and hopefully it continues that Jews only perpetrate terror attacks very rarely so there is no need for this deterrent effect, but if the situation changes, then definitely" the state would demolish Jewish terrorists’ houses, she said.
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 murder of Muhammed Abu Khdeir in 2014 and the Duma murders in late July, there have also been rising calls from critics to demolish Jewish terrorists’ houses if the house demolition policy is to continue.