The High Court rejects Wednesday a petition by the residents of the West Bank settlement of Ma'ale Shomron to issue an interim injunction against the sealing of an illegally built synagogue.
The ruling came despite the State consenting earlier to Delay the act pending a new hearing on the matter.
Justice Hanan Meltzer ordered the case to be heard by an extended, three-judge panel. The latter will see the State inform it of its actions on the matter so far.
Earlier, the State's responded to a High Court petition filed by a resident of the settlement who motioned for a warrant against the step. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed discomfort with the intent to seal off the house of prayer and called for a reexamination of the matter.
"I hope that the prime minister indeed prevent the synagogue from being sealed off. It's a serious, immoral and unjust move," Shomron Regional Council head Gershon Mesika said."
Getting ready to block entrance to settlement (Photo: Gur Dotan)
"From the very beginning we have been shouting out that this is a political petition by a radical left-wing group whose whole purpose is to hurt citizens residing in the El Matan neighborhood. We have cried out that the synagogue is at the center of a neighborhood situated inside the Ma'ale Shomron's approved outline plan."
Mesika proceeded to slam Defense Minister Ehud Barak, saying, "The petition tries to cynically base itself on the claim that the defense minister refuses to sign the outline plan out of political considerations. It is unacceptable that he on the one hand refuse to sign (the plan) and on the other want to seal off a Jewish synagogue for pseudo-legal reasons," he said. "We hope the prime minister put an end to this unreasonable affair."
In May 2009, a petition was filed with the High Court of Justice motioning to halt the construction of the synagogue which proceeded to issue a temporary order to suspend construction until a decision is reached.
Two months later the defense establishment issued a final order to halt construction and demolish the structure. The settlers appealed the decision but were rejected by the High Court of Justice.
Meanwhile, local residents are gearing up to block any attempts to seal the synagogue. A source in the Samaria Settlers Committee said that activists laid down tires on the main road leading to the neighborhood and a "tractor was placed to destroy the road if necessary."
The Settlement movement has warned of a harsh reaction and painful "price tag" style retaliation if authorities proceed with the plan to seal the synagogue.
Yair Altman contributed to this report
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