Ramat Gilad Star of David 311.
(photo credit: Tovah Lazaroff)
The state asked the High Court of Justice over the weekend for a three-month
delay in demolishing illegal structures in the Ramat Gilad outpost, on the
outskirts of the West Bank Karnei Shomron settlement.
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It had initially
promised the court it would remove nine outpost structures, all built on private
Palestinian land, by the end of 2011. The pledge came in response to a petition
first filed by Peace Now in 2006, and refilled in 2008.
Friday, the state asked for a delay, noting Ramat Gilad residents had reached an
agreement with the state, under which they would voluntarily remove the
structures by the beginning of March 2012.
The state told the court that
it wanted a “peaceful resolution” to the problem of the illegal structures. It
added that over the past months it had conducted negotiations with settlers with
the help of Minister-without-Portfolio Bennie Begin
Significantly, the state also said that it was seeking a
different solution for 11 additional structures in Ramat Gilad, some of which
are built on state land and some on private Palestinian land.
to the state, the Civil Administration will carry out a detailed mapping survey
of the land on which the structures are built, a process that will take three
months. After the survey is complete, the state said it would demolish in whole,
or in part, those structures found to be on private land.
The state said
that for security reasons it would not demolish a large Jewish Star of David, a
structure and recreational facilities erected on private Palestinian land on the
northern edge of the outpost.
By law, the IDF may only confiscate private
Palestinian land in the West Bank for security reasons.
Created in 2001,
Ramat Gilad was named for Gilad Zar, who was killed by Palestinians in a
drive-by shooting that same year. Gilad’s father, Moshe Zar, has disputed the
state’s claim that portions of the outpost are constructed on private
He has insisted that he purchased those lots. His
daughter Michal Shoham and her family live in one of the caravan homes on the
The state told the court that it would not order the Zar family
to cease agricultural use of land in Ramat Gilad, after they agreed to work
according to an agreement signed with the state.
Under that agreement,
the Zars would not be permitted to start new farming operations on the land,
save for seasonal activities.
The court must now respond to the
Attorneys Michael Sfard and Shlomi Zachary, who represent Peace
Now, asked the court on Sunday to reject the state’s response.
written statement to the court they stated that the state’s position was
“shameful” and he accused it of reneging on its promises to the
They took particular issue with the state’s plan not to demolish
all the property on private Palestinian land.
Court acceptance of this
response, they said, would be sanctioning and legalizing “land
Absent from the document was any reference to settler claims that
in return for the voluntary removal of the nine structures on private
Palestinian property, the state would authorize a zoning plan for an area of the
Karnei Shomron settlement that includes Ramat Gilad.
Such a move would
retroactively legalize outpost homes constructed on state land.
Karnei Shomron Council head Herzl Ben-Ari and Dani Dayan who heads the Council
of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip told The Jerusalem
Post on Sunday that they believed the state would make good on this pledge.