Migron Israel Flag 311.
(photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)
The state asked for 25 delays over a six-year period in responding to a High
Court of Justice request for information regarding pending home demolitions in
the outposts of Haresha and Hayovel, according to a Yesh Din report released
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The report, which looked at 16 court cases, charged that the
state’s failure to raze unauthorized settler homes and its initial steps to
retroactively legalize them, encourages such illegal building
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Although the 28-page document spoke of the state’s failure to
prevent unauthorized construction largely in outposts and to enforce demolition
orders, it also examined the state’s slow process of response, once a court case
The Yesh Din report was issued just one month after the state
demolished three unauthorized homes
at the Migron outpost.
right-wing politicians and settlers are concerned that this is just the start of
a number of pending court-ordered housing demolitions of unauthorized
structures, possibly numbering 160, Yesh Din on Monday presented a document
chronicling the state’s delay in acting on such homes.
In the case of
Haresha and Hayovel, the state argued before the court for six years that it
needed more time to formulate its position, Yesh Din said. As a result, it added
there have been only three hearings on the matter.
The report noted a
similar pattern in other cases.
With regard to a case filed in September
2007 by Peace Now, involving six outposts, the state filed 10 requests to extend
its response deadline, Yesh Din said in its report.
The state asked for
14 such extensions over the last five years with regard to Migron, according to
Yesh Din. Only in August did the court finally rule to demolish the outpost by
the end of March.
Since Yesh Din filed a 2009 case seeking enforcement of
demolition orders in the Rehalim outpost, the state has delayed providing
information eight times. The state has since said it is examining the legal
status of the outpost.
Out of the 16 cases examined in the report, 13
involved illegal construction. The cases were filed after the state failed to
prevent illegal construction from occurring. In 11 of the cases, the court
issued an interim order to freeze the situation on the ground, once the case was
“Five of those orders were violated, and construction continued on
the ground despite court orders forbidding it specifically,” according to the
“There has been a pattern of violation of judicial orders issued
by the Supreme Court, violations which themselves are not met with an adequate
response by the law enforcement authorities,” said Yesh Din.
of turning a blind eye... is another expression of the weakness of the rule of
law in the West Bank territories,” the report said.
“If it were not
enough that the law is not being enforced, the lawbreakers also receive a
tailwind by the state, which not only fails to take action to remove the illegal
construction but also seeks in some cases to legalize it,” said the
The Civil Administration, which is in charge of enforcing
building regulations in the West Bank, was not available to respond to the
Dani Dayan, who heads the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea,
Samaria and the Gaza Strip, said there was no connection between the report and
the reality on the ground. He charged that the government, the state attorney’s
office and the civil administration rigorously enforce, in a discriminatory
fashion towards settlers, the building laws in Judea and Samaria.