The state has asked to delay legalization of outpost homes in Harisha and
HaYovel in a High Court of Justice hearing on Wednesday.
It also asked to
delay action with regard to a 1,400-meter road built on private Palestinian
property that links HaYovel with the Eli settlement.
The hearing linked
the two petitions on the subjects.
Peace Now filed the first petition in
2005, against six illegal homes in Harisha and 12 in HaYovel. Yesh Din filed the
second petition against the road in 2009.
Attorney Michael Sfard, who
represents Peace Now and Yesh Din, argued that the state must legalize the
outpost homes or take them down.
Sfard also said that, regardless of
other issues in the case, the state should immediately demolish those portions
of the road that are on land that it has already admitted is private Palestinian
land and which it would not be trying to legalize at any point.
that the state’s request for a delay was simply a tactic to avoid taking any
Authorizing outpost construction runs counter to
pledges Israel has made to the international community, he said.
last number of years, the state has made bold statements about legalizing such
construction, which in the case of Harisha would involve the creation of a new
settlement, but it has been loath to take steps to do so.
built in the 1990s with the help of NIS 1.6 million from the Construction and
There are eight permanent homes and 60 caravans on the
Located on the outskirts of the Eli settlement, Hayovel was created
in 1998 with the help of NIS 250,000 from the Construction and Housing Ministry.
It has 16 permanent homes and 30 caravans.
But when Peace Now filed its
petition in 2005, it only asked the state to take action against homes in both
outposts that were under construction, 12 in Hayovel and six in
The six in Harisha were on state land and in Hayovel, three of
the homes were on private land and nine on disputed land.
hearing on that claim is scheduled for December 18-20.
however, in its petition did not represent any Palestinian landowners, but
rather sought through the court’s help to stop illegal West Bank
In 2010, the state said it was studying land issues
relating to the outposts, but that its intent was to authorize construction
Since then, however, Palestinians have filed appeals to a
military appeals committee regarding West Bank land, claiming ownership of some
of the property on both outposts.
The state has now told the court that
it wants to wait for the completion of those proceedings before it takes any
action to legalize outpost homes or to demolish the road from Eli to
In a document it filed last week with the court, the state noted
that on October 22 and November 14, it had performed tours and had not noted any
new or illegal construction in the Harasha or Hayovel areas.
still noted that it had not fully completed mapping out which areas it was
seeking to legalize.
In the petition with regard to the road, Yesh Din
represents Palestinians from the nearby village of Kuryot, the bulk of whose
land is in Area B of the West Bank. But some of it, where the road is located,
is in Area C, under Israeli military control.
The state argued that some
of the road had to be maintained as its destruction would make it impossible for
residents of Hayovel to come to or leave from the outpost.
mapping and some of the legal challenges still up in the air, the state asked
the court to follow past court decisions that have deferred a final ruling on
But Sfard said that the state could still have begun some of
the legalization procedures, but had not done so. Similarly it had ignored
previous orders to demolish illegal building and portions of the
The petitioners initially claimed that the whole road was built
illegally on private Palestinian land owned by a resident of Kuryot.
petition claimed that they filed the petition after the settlers in the area
ignored IDF orders to stop work on the road and demolish it.
2009, the court issued an interim order against any activity continuing building
Yesh Din claimed that this court order was violated, causing it
to seek another order by the court to stop the activity.