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Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
State: Only 30% of illegal settlement structures razed
In response to Peace Now petition, State Prosecutor's Office tells High Court it will work to demolish illegal West Bank structures built on private land by end of the year

The State Prosecutor's Office on Monday filed its response to a Peace Now petition to the High Court of Justice, which demands the razing of six structures in West Bank settlements.

 

The state's response to Peace Now says it has given orders "to remove illegal structures built on private land by the end of the year".

 

Just 30% of the 1,569 illegal structures that have been built in Jewish settlements and outposts over the past three years have been destroyed, the state's response says, while less than 13% have been razed in Palestinian villages.

 

The prosecution stressed in its response that construction and destruction in the West Bank are controversial issues and that the government must weigh all relevant considerations when it implements its policy.

 

This policy affects priorities in law enforcement in the region, it stated, adding that structures are razed according to the order devised by Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

 

First to be implemented are demolition orders based on court decisions, second are orders for construction still in its initial phases, third are structures on land owned privately by Palestinians, and fourth are structures built on land whose status is unclear.

 

The prosecution said a significant part of the Civil Administration's activity in the West Bank is geared towards thwarting attempts to set up new outposts.

 

In its response, the state said demolition orders implemented in the West Bank over the past two years indicate that the rate of illegal construction in the Palestinian sector is significantly higher than in the Israeli sector.

 

According to the state, last month Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Barak and a number of other cabinet members decided that illegal structures built on private land would be removed.

 

As for structures mentioned in the petition which were not built on private land, the state said they would be discussed at a later date.

 

 

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