State asks High Court for delay on Beit Ezra
Peace now opposes delay of court decision on Hebron shop in use by Jewish family; Palestinians forced to abandon it in 2001.
Peace Now demonstrate outside Prime Minister's hom Photo: REUTERS
The state on Wednesday asked the High Court of Justice for extra time to submit
its response regarding two Palestinian market stalls in a Hebron building known
as Beit Ezra.
A Hebron Jewish family initially owned the building but was
forced to leave in 1947. It then passed into the hands of the state custodian of
abandoned properties, first under the Jordanians and then under
Two Palestinians rented the structure from the custodian and used
it for four shops until 2001. At that time, the IDF forced the Palestinians to
abandon the market stalls for security reasons.
A few years later, a
Jewish family moved into one of the shops and another Jewish family whose
apartment abutted the shop incorporated it into their home.
family had a permit to use the property. In 2007 the IDF ordered the families to
leave the stalls. A military appeals court, however, said that the families
should be allowed to rent the space from the custodian of abandoned properties
until such time as the IDF allowed the Palestinians to return to the
The court said it was preferable for the shops to be in use rather
than stand empty. In 2010 Peace Now petitioned the High Court of Justice
on behalf of the Palestinian storekeepers.
On Tuesday the Ministerial
Committee on Settlements debated the matter in response to the High Court of
Justice edict, ordering the state to submit its position on Beit Ezra by
According to Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister
Yuli Edelstein there was broad consensus in support of the Hebron Jewish
families, and the initial verdict of the military appeals court.
other sources told The Jerusalem Post that a state prosecutor had objected to
that stance. On Wednesday the state told the court that although a number
of meetings had been held on the matter, more time was needed to formulate a
response. It asked to be given until September 13 to submit its
Also on Wednesday, Dani Dayan, head of the Council of Jewish
Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, called on the Ministerial
Committee on Settlements to support the Hebron Jewish families in its response
to the court.
The committee, he said, was created in part to formulate
state responses to left-wing petitions to the High Court of Justice against
Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria.
“If all the committee does is
rubber-stamp the prosecutors’ stance, than what purpose does it serve?” he
Hagit Ofran of Peace Now said that her organization has opposed
the delay. The case was filed years ago, and nothing has changed since then, “so
why does the state need so much time to provide a response?” she
“The state just needs to make a decision,” she added.