Court extends state deadline on Beit Ezra response

High Court of Justice also fines the state NIS 5,000 for not complying with the initial court deadline of August 15.

August 23, 2012 01:46
1 minute read.
view of Hebron

view of Hebron_311. (photo credit: David Wilder, the Jewish Community of Hebron)

The High Court of Justice on Wednesday gave the state until September 13 to submit its response with regarding four Palestinian market stalls in a Hebron building known as Beit Ezra.

But it fined the state NIS 5,000 for not complying with the initial court deadline of August 15.

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Hagit Ofran of Peace Now said in response to the fine, “It appears the court has lost patience with the state’s practice of delaying hard decisions.”

Her organization petitioned the court against two Jewish families who moved into the shops, some time after the IDF forced Palestinians to abandon the stalls in 2001 for security reasons.

At a Ministerial Committee on Settlements meeting last week, politicians endorsed an earlier decision by a military appeals court to allow the two families to rent the stalls from the Custodian of Abandoned Properties until such time as the IDF allowed the Palestinians to return to the shops.

But according to those in the meeting, a state attorney objected to the conclusion and the committee adjourned without formulating its response.

It is the second time that committee members have differed with the state attorneys’ legal opinion.

A similar split occurred with respect to the state’s submission to the High Court of Justice regarding the evacuation of the Migron outpost in the Binyamin region of the West Bank.

In both cases, members of the committee and right-wing politicians attacked the Attorney- General’s Office for not executing the committee’s will.

Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein, who is a member of the Ministerial Committee on Settlements, has slammed both decisions.

“Taxpayers money is being wasted as a result of the [State] Attorney’s Office lack of will to listen to the political echelon’s orders,” he said.

Edelstein added that the office also risked contempt of court charges.

“I hope the Attorney’s Office will start to understand that it is not the judicial authority, but rather part of an authority that must act,” he said.

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