Proposed bill would stop night demolition of settlements

National Union MK Katz drafts bill; Erdan: Razing of structures at Migron "surprised" Likud ministers, who "could have prevented it."

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September 8, 2011 04:21
2 minute read.
National Union MK Yaakov Katz

National Union MK Yaakov Katz 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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A proposed bill would prevent the state from razing settlement homes at night as it did in Migron earlier this week, which Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan said on Wednesday caught Likud ministers by surprise.

National Union MK Ya’acov Katz drafted on Tuesday night legislation that would forbid administrative evacuation orders to be carried out between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m.

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The legislation is meant to “protect the honor and liberty of man,” Katz said.

“When a destruction order is carried out by the authorities, we must make sure that, despite the fact that the property is sentenced to be destroyed, the person’s other rights are protected,” he wrote. “It is not reasonable that people who are being forced out of their homes – even when it is justified – will be left outside without a chance to find shelter.”

The National Union faction leader proposed the bill hours after saying Supreme Court justices, the State Attorney’s Office and the Jewish Division of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) should be brought to court for violating the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty.

Katz also pointed out that while a home may have to be razed according to law, there is no reason to destroy its contents.

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Therefore, Katz’s bill states that the evacuating authority must “allow the property owner to clear his possessions from the property in a respectful manner that does not harm them.”

According to the proposed bill, if these two conditions are not fulfilled, the property owner will have the right to receive compensation from the state.

Erdan also took issue with the events in Migron, telling The Jerusalem Post that “Likud ministers were surprised” upon hearing three houses were razed.

The minister explained that the order to destroy the homes was for March 2012, and was carried out months early.

“Had [Likud ministers] known this was going to happen, we would have been much more active. We thought we had time,” Erdan said. “I learned my lesson: to be much more active and bring the Ministry of Defense to a meeting with the Prime Minister’s Office on these matters.

“I’m not sure those three houses could have been legalized, but Migron as a settlement could be,” he added, saying that had the authorities waited until March 2012, the settlers and government may have been able to reach an agreement.

“This could have been done without coming in the middle of the night like – I don’t want to say,” Erdan stopped himself.

“To throw out children and women and use tractors to wipe out houses? It shouldn’t come to that. We could have prevented it.”

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