The High Court judges ruled Wednesday on a petition submitted against the West Bank settlement building freeze that "a number of aspects remain as of yet unresolved in a satisfactory manner by the State." However, the judges ruled that the building moratorium order stands unchanged as of yet.
The judges, High Court President Dorit Beinish, Justice Ayala Procaccia, and Justice Neal Hendel, ruled that the State must provide supplementary information on the moratorium within a month, mainly on the issue of compensation to be provided to settlers living in settlements in which new building has been frozen.
"What is the slated date on which the importunity commission will start its work?" the judges asked. They also asked that a clarification be made under which pretexts one may petition the commission and how one is to go about doing so. In addition, the judges demanded that the State explain what the proper framework is for appealing decisions made by the commission.
However, the judges did not make any alterations in what is considered to be the core of the petition – the attempt to nullify the building moratorium. "The freeze order on which the petition is predicated still stands. In light of the importance of a compensation mechanism, we presume that the State will not request extensions for submitting this supplementary material," the court ruled.
The petition was filed by the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel and 14 West Bank regional councils. They claimed that the basis for the building moratorium stands on avowed political considerations while overstepping the jurisdiction of the regional military command. The petitioners also claimed that sufficient time was not provided to prepare for the freeze.
Beinish already criticized the government's moves during the discussions of the petition this week when she said, "I do not know to what extent whoever issued the order gave thought to all the variants of potential damages."
However, the judges asserted that the decision made is not up for discussion. "The government sets political objectives in order to achieve them. If there is a need for freeze orders, the government issues them out of its authority to do so. The military command is the long arm of the government. Where is the fault in this?" said Justice Procaccia.