Decision Imminent on Demolition of Terrorist's East Jerusalem Home

Verdict close in Mercaz Harav case, but legal difficulties delay decision on bulldozer attackers' homes.

The defense establishment is close to deciding whether to demolish the Jabal Mukkaber home of Ala Abu Dahim, the terrorist who committed the attack on the Mercaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem. However, legal difficulties are still delaying decisions on destroying the houses of the two terrorists who committed the bulldozer attacks in Jerusalem this month, Hussam Duwiyat of Sur Baher and Asam Abu Tir from Umm Tuba.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak both announced their support for demolishing the homes of the terrorists from East Jerusalem, though Israel has refrained from such acts in recent years in the eastern part of the capital. Since 2005, in the wake of the recommendations of an Israel Defense Forces committee headed by Maj. Gen. Udi Shani, the IDF has stopped demolishing terrorists' homes in the West Bank, too.

Barak was notified last Thursday that most of the legal obstacles to demolishing Abu Dahim's home had been removed. However, the family may petition the High Court of Justice against the demolition.

Dozens of residents of the northern Jerusalem neighborhood Beit Hanina threw rocks at police Monday, after the Abu Aisha home was demolished. Four of the stone throwers were arrested.

The four-storey house was knocked down by the Jerusalem municipality as it had been built without a permit. Humans rights organizations spent the whole day Monday trying to prevent the demolition, without success.