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      After Sealing Synagogue, Will High Court Stop Mosque?

      NGO asks court to treat illegal Samaria mosque with the same strictness with which it treated a synagogue nearby.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 1/24/2011, 8:09 PM / Last Update: 1/24/2011, 8:01 PM

      Ishi Chazani, Mirkam Studio

       

      Will the High Court mete out the same treatment to an illegally built mosque in Samaria as it did to a nearby synagogue? Non-governmental organization Regavim has petitioned the court against continued work on a mosque in the village of Burin, against which the court issued a temporary work stoppage order in the past. 
       
      The NGO wants the court to have the structure destroyed or at least immediately sealed - as it did in an identical case involving a synagogue in the nearby Jewish community of Elmatan.
       
      Regavim legal adviser, Attorney Amir Fisher, and its Judea and Samaria Coordinator, Ovadia Arad, reminded the judges that the court-ordered work stoppage was systematically ignored by the mosques' builders. Construction continues on the site while the authorities turn a blind eye, they claimed.
       
      "In the matter of Elmatan," Regavim wrote the court, "the state announced that since it involves a house of prayer, it is possible as an initial step to seal the synagogue. The state acted with determination to seal the synagogue and indeed, the synagogue now stands sealed and shut."
       
      "It is unacceptable that in the case of a synagogue that was built on state land, with which there were small, specific problems, the High Court intervenes, orders the synagogue destroyed and accepts its sealing as a compromise, whereas when a mosque is involved, as well as wild construction that repeatedly scorns High Court orders, the court will not act in an egalitarian manner and order similar enforcement - i.e., the immediate sealing of the mosque in Burin." 
       
      The Regavim motion names Defense Minister Ehud Barak and two top IDF commanders in Samaria, as well as the mosque's constructors and the Burin village council, as the defendants.