Yesh Din to HJC: Order state to evacuate Ulpana

Group petitions High Court of Justice to order state to immediately evacuate 30 homes in outpost on outskirts of Beit El.

Ulpana outpost near Beit El 370 (R) (photo credit: REUTERS/Nir Elias)
Ulpana outpost near Beit El 370 (R)
(photo credit: REUTERS/Nir Elias)
Yesh Din – Volunteers for Human Rights on Thursday asked the High Court of Justice to order the state to immediately evacuate the five apartment buildings housing 30 families in the Ulpana outpost, located on the outskirts of the Beit El settlement.
The organization sent its request in advance of a Sunday hearing on the state’s request to be released from its promise to evacuate the homes, which were constructed on land classified by the state as belonging to private Palestinians.
Last year, the state told the court it would remove the homes by May 1, 2012. But last Friday, four days before that deadline, it asked to be released from that pledge.
The fate of the homes now lies in the hands of the court, which must decide whether to accede to the state’s request.
The state told the court that it is revising its policy on unauthorized West Bank outposts, including those built on private Palestinian property. It said it plans to submit that new policy within 90 days.
The state further asked the court to reopen the Ulpana case so that it could reassess the land status.
The issue of the land classification is under adjudication in a district court in Jerusalem. Settlers say the property was purchased by the yeshiva in Beit El and Amana, the construction arm of the settlement movement.
The sale was never registered with the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria.
The court and the state have not recognized the legality of the sale.
Yesh Din initially filed a petition before the High Court on the matter in 2010, on behalf of the Palestinian claimants.
Yesh Din attorneys Michael Sfard and Shlomy Zachary on Thursday warned the court that it would set a dangerous precedent that weakened the rule of law if it accepted the state’s requests.
What should the citizens of this state say to themselves about the rule of law when the prime minister and the defense minister do not keep their obligations to the court, the attorneys asked.
In their statement to the court, they referenced comments made by Likud politicians in the past few weeks warning that the judiciary had too much power in these matters and that the evacuation of the homes would destroy the government.
The attorneys said that the state’s request was based on political, rather than legal, reasons.
They also warned of the legal consequences of reopening a case against which a judgment had already been rendered.
Earlier this week, in a similar case about five apartment buildings under construction in Beit El, the court agreed to give the state 60 days to present a new outpost policy.