Merkaz Harav families, MKs want home of terrorist demolished

MK Uri Ariel: We have to make sure the State of Israel acts against murder.

mercaz harav funeral 224 (photo credit: )
mercaz harav funeral 224
(photo credit: )
MKs and family members of the eight yeshiva student killed at Merkaz Harav called for the prompt demolition of the east Jerusalem home of the Palestinian terrorist who attacked the yeshiva in March during a Knesset committee meeting on Wednesday. The purpose of the demolition would not be to avenge the attack, but to deter future ones, because a potential terrorist might think twice if he knew his family's home would be demolished, they said. "The issue is not revenge," said MK Uri Ariel, who asked for the discussion in the Knesset Interior Committee. "We have to make sure the State of Israel acts against murder." Dror Eldar, the father of a victim, said demolition was a necessary part of the war on terror. "It is obvious the next murderer is already planning his act... [That is why] the war on terror must target the financial sources behind the terror," he said. The Prime Minister's Office and Defense Ministry did not respond to the charges made, and the IDF declined comment. "We weren't invited to today's meeting at the Knesset," a military source said. "The subject is currently being debated in the political echelon, which has the authority to decide on this matter." The yeshiva's director, Haim Katz, said that immediately after the attack they were visited by officials and received much support, but later their requests for demolition were bogged down in legalities. "From everyone we got the answer that the legality of demolition needs to be looked into," he said. However, the MKs and lawyer for the families said that policy rather than legalities was preventing the home's demolition. "[Legally] it could have been an hour after the attack" said Pensioners Party MK Rafi Eitan. "This is the price [of government policy]; you [the families of the victims] are paying it now but the people of Israel have been paying the price for years." Other points of agreement at the meeting were that the city of Jerusalem must stop the reported illegal expansions to the home and that the police release its report on the attack as well as investigate how the terrorist obtained a weapon. The city, in response, sent The Jerusalem Post its request for a court injunction against building at the house from a month ago. Kadima MK Marina Solodkin raised the idea that in cases like that of Merkaz Harav, in which the attacker held a blue Israeli identity card, terrorists and their immediate family living with them should lose their citizenship. "Real justice is both demolishing the house of the terrorist and taking away citizenship," she said.