Ulpana supporters ask court to annul evacuation

Petition also asks High Court to freeze any action that military, authorities might take to destroy, evacuate structures.

Apartments in Ulpana oupost in danger of being evacuated  (photo credit: Tovah Lazaroff)
Apartments in Ulpana oupost in danger of being evacuated
(photo credit: Tovah Lazaroff)
The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel and two residents of the Ulpana outpost on Sunday submitted a petition requesting the High Court to annul its earlier order to evacuate the Ulpana by July.
The Ulpana outpost is located on the outskirts of the West Bank settlement of Beit El.
The petition also asked the court to freeze any action that the military or law enforcement authorities might take to destroy or evacuate the structures pending a decision by the Jerusalem District Court on the substantive issue of whether the Jewish Ulpana's current residents acquired their land rights legally.
The petitioners claim that the earlier High Court decision violated natural justice principles and that the court had exceeded its jurisdiction, since the facts regarding ownership have not been fully litigated. 
The case before the Jerusalem District Court over whether the current residents acquired property rights legally is not expected to be resolved in the near future. A decision to delay the evacuation until that case is resolved would effectively be an indefinite delay.
The government and others have sought to delay any action to evacuate the Ulpana outpost in the past based on the same argument, but to no avail. The High Court and the government have maintained that the outpost was illegal for years.
According to this line of argument, there is no reason to delay evacuation pending the latest Jerusalem District Court case, as the outcome is already apparent, and the case itself is somewhat superfluous.
The petition claims that new evidence was introduced in the lower court proceeding regarding the issue of ownership. Neither the government nor the High Court have recognized the evidence as new or outcome-changing. 
The petitioners also argue that the residents cannot be evacuated before the court holds a series of proceedings on how to compensate the residents financially and to address the question of relocation, neither of which have been discussed before the court.
Although the court itself has not discussed issues of compensation and relocation, the government has been trying to address these problems for some time. However, many Ulpana residents have resisted on engaging in a dialogue on these issues as they are concerned that it would show a lack of resolve on their desire to remain at the Ulpana outpost.
Meanwhile, ministerial and Knesset committees were taking up a number of proposed legislative solutions for addressing the Ulpana and other outposts in dispute.