(photo credit: DANIEL VENTURA/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
With the ink on the settlements law just starting to dry, the left-wing NGO Yesh Din said on Tuesday that the state was seeking a sea change in policy, potentially asking the High Court of Justice to legalize unauthorized Jewish outposts on private Palestinian property retroactively and to strike related house demolition orders.
The specific unauthorized outpost in question is Adei Ad, built in 1998 near Shiloh.
The outpost was partially built on private Palestinian land belonging to residents of the villages of Turmus Aiya, Almagor, Qaryut, and Jalud.
In 2014, Yesh Din petitioned the High Court on behalf of those Palestinian villages demanding the court order the state to remove the outpost, both because it was built on private Palestinian land and claiming it is a hub for criminal and systematic violent activity against Palestinians.
Knesset passes settlement bill on February 6, 2017 (credit: REUTERS)
By September 2015, the state had agreed that the outpost was unauthorized, but said it would legalize those portions of the outpost which were built on state land and only remove portions of the outpost on private Palestinian land.
But the state’s latest update of its position filed to the High Court on Monday, is the first since last Tuesday when the settlements law was passed.
The law empowered various state organs to legalize a range of unauthorized Jewish settlements on private Palestinian land, while providing compensation.
Yesh Din said that the big change was the state seeking to reevaluate whether the settlements law could allow it to legalize even some of the Adei Ad Jewish settlements on private Palestinian land which it had previously been prepared to demolish.
The NGO also said that the state had claimed after it completed a new survey that half of those residences which were on private Palestinian land are, in fact, on state land.
It added that in recent weeks it had documented three new incidents of Adei Ad settlers allegedly attacking nearby Palestinians.
Meanwhile, Adalah said on Tuesday that the High Court had ordered the state to initially respond to Adalah’s petition to strike the settlements law as unconstitutional by March 8.