(JTA) – Israel’s Supreme Court dismissed objections to an order to demolish the homes of the suspected kidnappers and murderers of three Israeli teens in June.
In Tuesday’s ruling, the court found no reason to interfere in the Israel Defense Forces’ destruction of the homes, which will take place on August 14. The families of the murder suspects argued that the home demolitions constitute collective punishment and that the suspects have not yet been found guilty, according to Haaretz. They also argued that the decision was hypocritical because the army will not demolish houses of Jewish terrorists who kidnapped an Arab teen, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, last month.
But the court accepted the argument of the IDF, which said the home demolitions aim to deter Palestinians from future terrorist acts. The court criticized Abu Khdeir’s murder, but called it “the rarest of occurences” and rejected the claim that the two incidents are equal.
“I’m not overlooking the shocking case of the murder of the teenage boy Mohammed Abu Khdeir, a case that shocked the country and sparked wall-to-wall condemnations, but this was the rarest of rare occurrences,” Justice Yoram Danziger wrote in his decision, according to Haaretz. “Therefore, it seems to me there’s no place for the artificial symmetry claimed by the petitioners to support their claim of discriminatory enforcement.”
The three suspects, Amer Abu Aisheh, Marwan Qawasmeh and Hussam Qawasmeh, are accused of kidnapping and murdering Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach in June. The first two are still at large. Qawasmeh, who is suspected of aiding the kidnapping and murder, is in Israeli custody.