Supreme Court President Dorit Beinish criticized the State Wednesday for neglecting to carry out demolition orders issued by the court against illegal structures in the West Bank.
At a hearing on a petition filed by the Yesh Din organization, which is demanding that structures near the settlement of Beit El be demolished, Beinish said, "We discuss many such cases, yet despite the State's declarations regarding its priorities, the orders are not being implemented in any of the cases. There are no priorities because nothing is being done."
Yesh Din's petition, filed in 2008, regards five apartment buildings (30 apartments in all) that were built on private Palestinian land located near the settlement.
The petition claims that other structures were also built illegally and asks the court to evacuate the residents and demolish the homes.
At the time the petition was filed, a State representative said demolition orders are carried out according to a list of priorities, a claim usually made by the government in such cases.
Residents of Beit El said they did not know the homes were built illegally and that they did not purchase them directly from the owner, a claim backed by police. However, the State recognizes that the structures are illegal.
Beinish concluded the hearing by ordering the State to explain within 60 days why the buildings had not been demolished. She also recommended that the State reexamine its decision on the ownership of the land.
Attorney Michael Sfard of Yesh Din said after the hearing that "it has once again been proven that, to its great shame, Israel is scared to death of settlers and prefers to accept the looting of private land over doing the right thing".