The Meretz party plans to petition the High Court of Justice on Sunday to reject
the state’s request that it re-open the case against the 30 unauthorized homes
in the Ulpana outpost slated for demolition.
Last May the state promised
the court that it would remove the homes by Tuesday in response to a 2008
petition by Yesh Din on behalf of the Palestinian land owners who claim that the
structures are built on their property. In September, the court closed the case.
But on Friday the state asked the court to reopen it and release the state from
its pledge to take down the homes.
Meretz Party head MK Zehava Gal-On
said the state’s request with regard to the Ulpana showed that, “the
attorney-general and the prosecutor’s office have failed morally and
Yesh Din’s attorney Michael Sfard, who represented the
Palestinian property owners, said Friday that the government of Israel had
declared war on the rule of law and the court.
He added that no private
citizen would be allowed to re-open a case which had already been ruled on. The
state’s request to delay the demolition of Ulpana breaks all the rules and laws
of the game, he said.
“In order to help settlers steal Palestinian lands,
the government is ready to crush the basic principles upon which Israeli society
is based,” Sfard stated.
But on Friday, Vice Premier Silvan Shalom showed
his support for the Ulpana and the state’s request by visiting the outpost,
located on the outskirts of the Beit El settlement. He called on the government
to authorize the homes.
Shalom told its residents that he hoped a legal
solution could be found that would allow Ulpana residents to remain in their
homes, but barring this, legislation could be passed legalizing the
“Evacuating these residents would be unacceptable,” he
In a statement they released to the media, Ulpana residents said
they hoped the state and the government make good on Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu’s words in the past month that their homes not be
They noted that their outpost was built with financial support
from the government and that its residents had received grants and mortgages to
buy their homes.