Photo: Gil Yohanan

State files appeal over Ulpana eviction

State asks High Court for three-month extension to allow Cabinet to review original decision to evacuate Beit El neighborhood; says government assessing new policy

The State filed a High Court appeal Friday, asking that the court revisit the petition filed over the pending eviction of the Ulpana neighborhood, located in the West Bank settlement of Beit El.


The State wishes to renege on its commitment to evacuate the area by May 1.


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The petition also asked the court for a three-month extension, which will allow the State to refile its official position on the matter; and is seeking a stay of the demolition orders issued on the neighborhood's homes for the duration of that time.


The petition said that "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Cabinet wish to reconsider the way the policy – that states that every structure erected on private Palestinian land will be razed – is implemented."


According to the State Prosecutor's Office, which represents the government in the matter, the political echelon has recently been presented with new evidence suggesting the decisions made regarding Ulpana would have significant ramifications as to the future construction in Beit El.


Ulpana (Photo: Gil Yohanan) 


The State also argues that the Cabinet has been holding a series of sessions on the government's obligations regarding the removal of West Bank buildings built on private Palestinian land.


According to the petition, "After much deliberation and the examination of various alternatives, and after giving due consideration to the broad social implications the implementation of these policies may have on future construction, the (government) has decided to review the legal priorities in the are."


Ulpana as a test case

The government wishes "To take into account all the possible zoning, social, political and operational ramifications," the appeal said.


The prosecution stressed that according to the new policy the government is promoting, "The narrow interpretation of the law, by which a structure's fate is determined, can no longer be applied to the situation on the ground; and is pursuing new policies, by which decisions regarding structures built on land whose ownership is contested, will be made on a case-by-case merit."


Law enforcement priorities in the West Bank must be ordered according to "the bigger picture and in a broad connotation," the appeal said.


The State Prosecutor's Office further argued that Ulpana must be seen as a test case and an example for the need for a more current policy.


The State informed the court of the government's preference to suspend any operation on the ground pending a full and final ruling as to the contested issue of land ownership.


The appeal noted that Netanyahu has formed a special team, including Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Minister for Strategic Affairs Moshe Yaalon and representatives from the Attorney General's Office to review the matter and determine new legal criteria in such matters.


The possible ramifications of the decision, the State concluded, warrant a review of the situation.


The High Court will hold a hearing on the matter on Sunday.


Yesh Din Attorney Michael Sefarad, who represents the Palestinian petitioners in the case, said in response that "Today, the Israeli government has declared war against the rule of law.


"The government, in its political despair, is assisting the theft of Palestinian land and it is razing the moral values upon which the State of Israel was founded," he said.



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פרסום ראשון: 04.27.12, 11:52
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