Israel Court Orders Demolition of Homes Built On Palestinian Land

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Israeli-court-orders-demolition-of-homes-built-on-occupied-landRAMALLAH,   Nov 20 – The Israeli High Court of Justice ordered the government to demolish within six months homes built on private Palestinian land in three illegal settlement outposts, a report said on Tuesday.

The Israel Radio said that the houses to be evacuated stand in the outposts of Givat Assaf, Mizpe Yitzhar and Ma’aleh Rehavam. According to the report, the anti-settlement Israeli watchdog Peace Now filed a petition in 2007 to evacuate homes in six illegal outposts: the above-named three along with Ramat Gilad, Givat Haro’eh and Mitzpe Lachish. In 2003 all these outposts had received “delineation orders” – an administrative order delineating their area and allowing the government to evacuate the entire outpost at any time. The Peace Now petition asked the court to order the state to implement the evacuation orders. Injunctions were first issued in 2004.

The report said that the court President Asher Grunis and Justice Miriam Naor leveled unprecedented criticism against the government, writing that it was no longer possible to rely on the government’s commitments on such matters. Miriam Naor, Deputy Supreme Court President, said “I regret that we have arrived at this point. I regret that it is no longer possible to trust the commitments the state gives through its lawyers to the court.” Naor said that in the future the court might have to consider requiring that the government give some sort of guarantee that it will carry out the court’s orders, “and that is a shame,” she said.

The court ordered the government to pay Peace Now 25,000 Israeli shekel (roughly $7,000) in legal costs. Meanwhile, Extremist Jewish settlers set two Palestinian cars on fire near the West Bank city of Nablus in an apparent “price tag” attack.

Jibrin al-Bakri, the Nablus governor, said that a group of Jewish right-wing extremists from the unauthorized settlement outpost of Havat Gilad arrived at the village of Far’atah, set fire to a car and a truck belonging to resident Mohammed Salman. Al-Bakri added that a Star of David was spray-painted on one of the walls of the village.

The Israeli Army Radio said that Israeli security forces opened an investigation into the incident. The developments came a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to visit the Knesset and recognize Israel as a Jewish state, for the sake of peace. Netanyahu, speaking at a special session in honor of visiting French President Francois Hollande, said he would return the favor and speak in Ramallah in service of a two-state solution.  Hollande visited Ramallah earlier Monday, calling on Israel to cease all settlement construction, and praised Netanyahu for halting the Housing Ministry’s recently announced plans for further apartments in the West Bank.

Under heavy US pressure and following intense shuttle diplomacy by US Secretary of State John Kerry, Israel and the Palestinians resumed peace talks in July after a three-year hiatus, agreeing to a nine-month timeline set to expire in March 2014.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met more than fifteen times since then in an attempt to solve the final status issues; Jerusalem, refugees, boundaries, settlements and security. Meetings were held alternately in different locations in Jerusalem and Jericho. No breakthrough has been achieved yet. IINA

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