Last week, the Supreme Court of Israel issued a decision concerning one of the most sensitive areas of counterterrorism policy and practice. The decision considered so-called “pressure techniques” the Israeli Security Agency (the ISA, known colloquially as the Shin Bet) applied during the interrogation of a terrorism suspect in 2007.
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New Developments in Israeli Counterterrorism Law: Discrimination in Home Demolitions, Civil Lawsuits, and Material Support
The past few weeks have seen several significant legal developments concerning Israeli counterterrorism policy. First, the Supreme Court of Israel ruled that as a matter of principle, the Israeli authorities may not discriminate between Palestinian and Jewish terrorists in their resort to home demolitions to deter terrorist attacks. However, a deeper look at the decision reveals that it is not likely to change much in practice.
An interesting debate has developed recently among the justices of the Israeli Supreme Court over the legality of Israel’s use of home demolitions as a counterterrorism measure. This longstanding practice is highly controversial because it intentionally harms not only the person implicated in terrorist activity, but also family members and other residents who were not themselves involved in terrorism.