On December 6, 1983, a bomb exploded in an Israeli bus traveling through Jerusalem, killing six passengers and injuring some fifty others. Three years later, an Israeli military court found two Palestinian residents of the West Bank guilty and sentenced them to life imprisonment. Their homes were then demolished pursuant to an order issued by the Military Commander. The confessions upon which the convictions were based implicated a third person, Nader Jaber, who had fled to Jordan. At the time of the bomb explosion, he had been living with his wife in a room on the roof of his parents' house in the West Bank town of Ramallah. Fearing that his home would be demolished, Nader's father, Ramzi Jaber, petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court for an injunction against a potential demolition order. His fears were confirmed when the Military Commander requested approval for the exercise of his authority under Article 119 of the 1945 Defense (Emergency) Regulations (1945 DERs). Article 119 authorizes the confiscation and destruction of houses in which either an action violating a security-related law was committed or a person who committed such an action resides. The Military Commander sought to destroy the room on the roof of the Jaber family's house and to seal up the second floor.
The Demolition of Homes in the Israeli Occupied Territories,
Yale J. Int'l L.
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