Ulpana neighborhood
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Legal source: State ridiculing rule of law
Senior legal official says new government policy toward West Bank evictions wishes to draw distinction between isolated outposts and large neighborhood built on private Palestinian land

"The legal establishment cannot lend a hand to illegal decisions and surely the Supreme Court judges will realize that the State is ridiculing the rule of law," a senior legal source told Ynet on Friday, in response to an appeal filed by the state in which it asked the court to revisit a petition filed over the pending eviction of the Ulpana neighborhood in the West Bank settlement of Beit El.


The court ordered the State to evict the Ulpana neighborhood by May 1, after it was revealed that the neighborhood was built on private Palestinian land. However, the decision stirred a storm among right-wing elements, prompting the State to appeal the decision.


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The petition 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 State also stated that it wishes to review future eviction orders of communities built on private land on a case-by-case basis.


According to the source, "You cannot make a distinction between outposts that the government can easily evict and outposts that are less convenient to evict due to Rightist pressure on the government.


The policy needs to consistent, which is that structures built on private land must be demolished."


"No one deems it right to send bulldozers to demolish whole neighborhoods that have been in place for years, but one has to find the balance between the fact that it is illegal to build structures on private (Palestinian) lands and the fact that we cannot demolish whole neighborhoods just because they are built on private land," the source added.


Another legal source noted that "there are differences between an outpost on an isolated hill, which is built on private land, and a large community that was partly built on private land many years ago.


"There is a difference between innocent people who had not idea they were building on private land, and people who knowingly take over a plot of land," he said.





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