Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Knesset Committee: Destroy Murderer's House!

Family members of the eight murdered Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva students, along with their lawyers from the Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center and representatives of the school, participated in a Knesset Interior Committee hearing today on the topic of home demolitions for terrorists.

In what many would concider a surprise, all Knesset members present called for the government to promptly demolish the former home of the terrorist who attacked the Yeshiva in March. The terrorist is a member of a wealthy family that lives in the Sheikh Jerach neigborhood of what is called by the media "East Jerusalem."

The MK's reiterated that they have no interest in revenge, but that they believe that such punishment deters future terrorists from acting, giving them pause for thought knowing the family home would be demolished as a result of their act.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Dror Eldar, the father of one of the young victims, told the committee that "demolition was a necessary part of the war on terror. It is obvious that the next murderer is already planning his act and our war on terror must target the financial sources behind the terrorists."

The Prime Minister's Office, Defense Ministry and IDF did not send a representative to the meeting.

Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of the human rights organization Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center and the advocate for the victim's families told this blogger that the Knesset members also unanimously agreed that the municipality of Jerusalem has got to do more to halt the continued illegal expansions in the eastern part of town. "The police has yet to release its report on the attack or investigate how the terrorist obtained a weapon, and this a full three months after the attack," she said.

The Jerusalem Post also reported that rebel Kadima MK Marina Solodkin raised the idea that in cases like the murders at Merkaz Harav, in which the attacker held a blue Israeli identity card (full, legal and equal citizenship - no obligations obviously), the terrorists and their immediate family living with them should lose their citizenship immediatly. "Real justice is both demolishing the house of the terrorist and taking away citizenship," she was quoted as saying.