Knesset Member: Israel's High Court Shares Blame for Terror Deaths

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Credit: הלל מאיר

MK Moti Yogev (Habayit Hayehudi) said Sunday the High Court of Justice contributed to the deaths of Israeli soldiers by not permitting the rapid demolition of terrorists’ homes.

In the process, Yogev said, the court was diminishing the deterrent value of the demolitions, which he said should be carried out within 48 to 72 hours after the terror incident.

He called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to ignore the rulings of the court in such cases.

Yogev’s comments came two days after a Palestinian man drove his car into a group of Israeli soldiers in the West Bank, killing two and injuring two others, one critically. Speaking with Israeli radio station Radio Darom, Yogev said that “because [the court] isn’t permitting deterrence, soldiers continue to be killed. “The High Court of Justice is a kind of La La Land that doesn’t live in Israel,” he added.

Asked why the judicial process surrounding the demolition of terrorists’ homes takes so long, Yogev replied: “That’s something that needs to be asked and needs to be directed to the prime minister and the defense minister, rather than relying on the excuse that the High Court didn’t allow it. The High Court should be put aside for 72 hours, not taking its castrating opinion into account. ... A period of 72 hours is enough to clarify whether there is any connection between the family, the parents, the siblings or others.”

The political positions of Supreme Court justices are closer to the left than to the right, Yogev said, and that is also the case with lower court judges in the magistrate’s and district courts.

The High Court of Justice “should be put in its proper place,” he said, adding in this regard that his party colleague, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, “is doing very important things and the high court will not be able to consider all kinds of things that it has intruded into.”

In July 2015, Yogev took the High Court to task for ordering the demolition of buildings in the West Bank settlement of Beit El and said the court should be destroyed with a bulldozer.

“We will see to it to rein in judicial rule, the tail wagging the dog, and will see to it in a values-oriented just manner that in Israel, the Knesset and cabinet are in control and that the judicial branch knows its place.”

The Knesset Ethics Committee reprimanded Yogev for his remarks at the time.

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