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Israel will not demolish home of Jewish killer who burned alive Palestinian teen

Israeli suspect Yosef Haim Ben-David (R), charged along with two already convicted minors in the abduction and murder of Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir, sits in a Jerusalem courtroom on December 20, 2015
AFP Photo/Ahmad Gharabli
Family of Mohammed Abu Khdeir will petition Supreme Court to rule the decision discriminatory

Israel will not demolish the home of a Jewish man who brutally murdered Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir in 2014 in what was deemed a nationalistically-motivated attack, the Ministry of Justice informed the High Court of Justice late Thursday.

Abu Khdeir's family had demanded the demolition of the home of Yosef Haim Ben David, the stated ringleader of the group of three Jewish-Israeli attackers who kidnapped, beat, and burned alive the Palestinian teen on July 2, 2014

Israel has a policy of deterrence in which the homes of Palestinian terrorists who carry out attacks against Israelis are demolished, often overnight.

Ahmad Gharabli (AFP/File)

In a legal brief to the Supreme Court, the Justice Ministry said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit and State Attorney Shai Nitzan had discussed the issue and determined that Jewish terror was not as broad a phenomenon as Palestinian terror, which they argued requires special forms of deterrence, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The brief said that the issue could potentially be revisited if Jewish terrorism became more widespread, at which point they would be ready to demolish the homes of Jewish terrorists as well.

As a result of the decision, Abu Khdeir's family has petitioned Israel's High Court to declare the differential treatment of Jewish and Palestinian terrorists to be discrimination, the Post reported.

Ahmad Gharabli (AFP)

The Defense Ministry last year argued similarly that there was no need to create deterrence among Jews because terror attacks against Arabs are relatively infrequent compared to Arab acts of terror against Jews, and therefore the demolitions were unjustified.

The Defense Ministry's argument echoed that put forward by the Supreme Court in November 2015, when Justice Noam Sohlberg wrote an opinion stating that the Jewish public does not need deterrence.

Yosef Haim Ben David received a life sentence plus 20 years from the Jerusalem District Court for Abu Khdeir's murder. The other two attackers, who cannot be named because they are minors, were sentenced to life in prison and 21 years, respectively.

(Staff with agencies)

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