Shin Bet recommends razing homes of Fogel killers


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Shin Bet security service has recommended that the family homes of the two Palestinian cousins who killed five members of the Fogel family be razed.

Government legal advisors must agree to the recommendation to destroy the homes of Hakim and Ajmad Awad of the West Bank town of Awarta, according to Army Radio, because of a 2005 Defense Ministry decision that ended the policy of home demolitions in order to punish Palestinian terrorists. The decision said demolitions were not preventing future attacks.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and the military’s chief of staff, Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, agreed to the recommendation pending the decision by the legal advisers.

The Shin Bet argued in its recommendation that the demolition would serve as a deterrent to other Palestinians considering similar attacks. It also said that several members of the murderers’ families helped the two men following the attack by hiding them and destroying evidence.

A meeting of military and Defense Ministry legal advisers coordinated by the Attorney General’s office is scheduled to take place in the coming weeks, according to Haaretz.

The Awads each were sentenced to five consecutive life sentences for the March 11, 2011 murders of Udi Fogel, 36, and Ruth Fogel, 35, and three of their children, Yoav, 11; Elad, 4; and Hadas, 3 months, in a Sabbath eve attack on their home in the northern West Bank town of Itamar.

Three of the Fogel children survived the attack. Two were sleeping in a side bedroom and were not discovered; a daughter was out of the house at the time of the killings. She came home to discover the bodies.

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