In the aftermath of the annulment of the Settlement Regulations Law, the illegal settler building at the site of the West Bank natural spring Einot Anar must be removed within three months, the state told the High Court of Justice.
It made its statement to the court in response to a 2017 petition to the High Court of Justice against light building at the spring on private Palestinian property, which included benches, terraces, paths, picnic benches and a pergola that dated back to at least 2014.
Movement on the petition had been held up pending an understanding of the impact of the Settlement Regulations Law on the petition.
The 2017 law was designed to retroactively legalize settler construction on private Palestinian property, in exchange for monetary compensation to the Palestinian landowners.
But earlier this month, the High Court of Justice annulled the law, noting that it was unconstitutional.
In light of that annulment the state informed the court on June 24, that it would now demand the dismantlement of the illegal construction within 90 days.
The left-wing NGOs Yesh Din and Emek Shaveh that petitioned the court on behalf of Palestinians from the village of Dir Amar and Was Karkar, published the state’s response only on Sunday.
The springs and walking paths on private Palestinian property are located within Area C of the West Bank and are part of an archaeological site under the auspices of the Civil Administration, also known as Nabi Aner. It is located near the Neriah settlement in an area of Judea and Samaria that is under the auspices of the Binyamin Regional Council.
Emek Shaveh said that the site houses an ancient shrine and is part of a route Muslim pilgrims took when traveling from Hebron to Jerusalem. It has alleged that aside from the seizure of private Palestinian property settler construction has harmed the archaeological integrity of the site.
“Regardless of the Regularization Law and its nullification, we find it regrettable that we were forced to petition the court to instruct the State’s enforcement authorities to simply carry out their duties and prevent the settlers from illegally building on private Palestinian land. We regret that the State does not of its own accord enforce the law and stop the damage to archaeological sites and the process of severing Palestinians from access to their cultural and religious roots,” Emek Shaveh said.The Binyamin Regional Council had no immediate response.