Supreme Court slams state's Ulpana hearing request

High Court hears state request to cancel ruling on outpost demolition; justices warn state on political response.

May 6, 2012 12:09
2 minute read.
Ulpana outpost near Beit El

Ulpana outpost near Beit El 370 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Nir Elias)

Supreme Court Justices slammed the state's request to cancel a previous court ruling regarding the Ulpana outpost during a hearing on the matter Sunday.

Justice Uzi Fogelman warned that revisiting court rulings on political grounds set a bad precedent.

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"There is a ruling," he said. "I don't understand this legal framework. It means that with every ruling, the state will come back and ask to open it."

Supreme Court Justice Salim Jubran added, "The exceptional request is becoming routine."

The hearing comes after the court ruled last September that the state must demolish illegal structures in Ulpana, adjacent to the Beit El settlement, by May 1 because they were built on private Palestinian land.

Last month, the court granted a 60-day extension to the demolition order, after the state requested extra time in order to assess its current policy on outposts.

In the past year, right-wing politicians and residents of Ulpana have lobbied the government to legalize the homes.

In 2008, Yesh Din petition the court against the outpost on behalf of a group of Palestinians who claim the land belongs to them. In response, the state said it would raze the five stone apartment buildings in which 30 families live.

Ulpana residents have argued that the Beit El Yeshiva and Amana – the construction arm of the settlement movement – bought the land from Palestinian landowners. They received state-guaranteed mortgages and grants to buy it.

However, the government and the High Court do not recognize the legality of the sale.

Last week, Yesh Din attorneys Michael Sfard, Shlomi Zacharia and Avishar Lev filed an official response to the court, saying that the state's request to cancel the High Court ruling was "in contempt of court".

"There can be no possibility to resume hearing a petition on which a final judgement has been made," Sfard said.

Meretz MK's Zehava Gal-On, Nitzan Horowitz and Ilan Gilon said they added themselves to the petition as a respondent, opposing the state's request, in order to represent "the silenced public interest on the issue of Ulpana."

"The settler-Haredi government of Bibi [Netanyahu], [Foreign Minister Avigdor] Lieberman and [Interior Minister Eli] Yishai are now spitting in the face of the whole of sane society," the Meretz MKs said on Sunday.

"The state's request to cancel the final ruling and end the illegal outpost's evacuation is an inconceivable insult," they added. staff contributed to this report

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