Ulpana outpost near Beit El 370 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Nir Elias)
Yesh Din – Volunteers for Human Rights on Thursday asked the High Court of
Justice to order the state to immediately evacuate the five apartment buildings
housing 30 families in the Ulpana outpost, located on the outskirts of the Beit
The organization sent its request in advance of a Sunday
hearing on the state’s request to be released from its promise to evacuate the
homes, which were constructed on land classified by the state as belonging to
Last year, the state told the court it would remove
the homes by May 1, 2012. But last Friday, four days before that deadline, it
asked to be released from that pledge.
The fate of the homes now lies in
the hands of the court, which must decide whether to accede to the state’s
The state told the court that it is revising its policy on
unauthorized West Bank outposts, including those built on private Palestinian
property. It said it plans to submit that new policy within 90 days.
state further asked the court to reopen the Ulpana case so that it could
reassess the land status.
The issue of the land classification is under
adjudication in a district court in Jerusalem. Settlers say the property was
purchased by the yeshiva in Beit El and Amana, the construction arm of the
The sale was never registered with the Civil
Administration of Judea and Samaria.
The court and the state have not
recognized the legality of the sale.
Yesh Din initially filed a petition
before the High Court on the matter in 2010, on behalf of the Palestinian
Yesh Din attorneys Michael Sfard and Shlomy Zachary on
Thursday warned the court that it would set a dangerous precedent that weakened
the rule of law if it accepted the state’s requests.
What should the
citizens of this state say to themselves about the rule of law when the prime
minister and the defense minister do not keep their obligations to the court,
the attorneys asked.
In their statement to the court, they referenced
comments made by Likud politicians in the past few weeks warning that the
judiciary had too much power in these matters and that the evacuation of the
homes would destroy the government.
The attorneys said that the state’s
request was based on political, rather than legal, reasons.
warned of the legal consequences of reopening a case against which a judgment
had already been rendered.
Earlier this week, in a similar case about
five apartment buildings under construction in Beit El, the court agreed to give
the state 60 days to present a new outpost policy.