Summer rally for the Netiv Ha'avot Outpost in front of the Knesset. .
(photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)
Six settler families lost their appeals to the High Court of Justice to save their homes in the Netiv Ha’avot outpost, which are slated for demolition in March.
“The Knesset cannot stand idly by in the face of such abhorrent injustice,” the Knesset Land of Israel Caucus said in a harsh statement issued immediately after the ruling on Sunday night.
The left-wing group Peace Now said the ruling was a victory for justice and for the Palestinian property owners on whose land the structures were partially erected.
“The judgment sends an unequivocal message to every citizen who tries to build on land that is not his own,” said Peace Now, which had initially petitioned against the outpost.
The six structures were among 15 homes that the court ruled in 2016 must be taken down because they were illegally built on private Palestinian property. Another 43 homes in the outpost, built on state land, can remain standing.
But the six homes in the petition were in reality partially built on state land and partially built on private Palestinian property. These families had returned to court to ask that they be allowed to keep their homes, as long as they would remove the portions that were on private Palestinian property.
On Sunday night the court rejected that petition, which it said was an attempt to reopen the case. There was no new information presented and the issue of the location of the homes was known when the original ruling was issued, the court said.
It added that the homes were clearly built illegally and that stop-work orders had been issued against them in the process.
But settlers have argued that the outpost was built with NIS 300,000 from the Ministry of Housing and Construction, and that it was always believed that the intention was to legalize the homes.
The 15 Netiv Ha’avot homes are exempt from the Settlements Law, which if approved by the High Court of Justice, would retroactively legalize settler structures built on private Palestinian property in exchange for compensation.
The Netiv Ha’avot families called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to come up with a solution, exclaiming that once again “he has shown his weakness in dealing with the distress of Israeli citizens.”