Ignoring court orders? Illegal West Bank outpost (archives)
Photo courtesy of Peace Now
Attorney Michael Sfard
Photo: Guy Assayag

Court chides State over West Bank outposts

High Court criticizes actions in case of six illegal outposts, where construction is ongoing despite restraining order. Peace Now lawyer says court should 'order military, Defense Ministry to uphold the law'

Supreme Court President Dorit Beinish and the honorable Uzi Vogelman and Neal Hendel on Tuesday criticized the State's policy on illegal construction in six illegal West Bank outposts, which the court has already ruled against.


The outposts in question were included in a 2007 High Court petition filed by Peace Now. The court ruled that the area must be evacuated and issued a restraining order regarding any construction or other physical presence by settlers.


The State pledged to evacuate the area, but then informed the court it would like to exhaust all possibility of reasoning with the settlers, and getting them to evict the premises willingly – an attempt which failed.


Peace Now, via attorneys Michael Sfarad and Attorney Shlomi Zecharia, informed the court that illegal construction in the area was still ongoing, in clear violation of the court order.


A State Prosecutor's brief on the matter, filed with the court Tuesday, said that "as the issue of West Bank construction is a core issue in the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian, political consideration must be taken into account when deciding on enforcement, and the State is currently reevaluating the issue of outposts."


The State's brief failed to differentiate between past construction and recent one. "No enforcement has been imposed and you have nothing to say about illegal construction?" Justice Vogelman admonished Attorney Uri Keidar, for the State Prosecutor's Office.


Justic Beinish added: "In light of your position, it seems the (court) order changes nothing. It makes no difference?"


Keidar told the court that the "State's position on the matter is general… I have no answer as to the building in question."


Beinish responded by saying the reply was "difficult to accept," while Vogelman said "there is a limit to how much one can ignore the facts."


The court granted the State two weeks to inform it of its action concerning the case.


"It is time that the court did more than just criticize the government and law enforcement system for their enforcement failures in outposts and settlements," Attorneys Michael Sfarad told Ynet.


"The court should exercise its power and order the military and the Defense Ministry to uphold the law."  



פרסום ראשון: 10.19.10, 18:46
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