Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch has ruled, not for the first time, that any area in Judea and Samaria that has not been declared state land is considered private Arab land by default and all buildings in such areas must be demolished.
She could just as well have ruled that this land is not claimed and therefore could be settled by Jews according to the law that land that is worked on for ten years without prior proven ownership can become the property of those working it, or that unclaimed land can be given to Jews outright.
It is a ruling that therefore borders on political bias, saying in effect that Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria is not part of returning to Jewish land although Jordan has no better claim to it.
Beinisch, however, made her guiding concept of ownership public in a hearing that was held this week in the Supreme Court about homes in the Jewish neighborhood of Givat HaYovel in Eli north of Jerusalem.
However, legal counsel for Judea and Samaria regional authorities have long warned that this is her mindset, one that de facto gives Arabs ownership of anything not state land, and that this is the basis for her decisions on disputed non-state land that has no proven Arab owner documentation. Arutz Sheva reported it prior to this statement.
12 homes in the neighborhood were slated to be demolished last year, including the homes of fallen IDF soldiers Roi Klein and Eliraz Peretz. Defense Minister Ehud Barak petitioned the Supreme Court to postpone the destruction just two weeks before it was scheduled to take place.
There are other homes in danger of being razed in Haresha, located in the Talmonim bloc between the city of Modiin and Beit El. The communities are being targeted by leftist groups such as Peace Now which claim that the homes were built on property belonging to PA Arabs.
In her ruling this week, a copy of which was obtained by Arutz Sheva’s Haggai Huberman, Beinisch stated, “The State shall notify the court within 60 days which lands in HaYovel and Haresha are private land, as opposed to state land. In the statement filed on the State’s behalf regarding the lands that have not been declared state land, and are thus in the category of private land, the State shall determine what is the timetable for the demolition of structures built in these lands, subject to a hearing to be held during this time period to the current holders of these lands, with the exception of the Peretz family.”
A thorough check by Huberman revealed that of all the homes in HaYovel, only two homes are on land not defined as state land, one of them being the home of Eliraz Peretz, in which case Peace Now has withdrawn the petition it filed. This leaves only one home in HaYovel that is not defined as being on state land.
Huberman notes that this one home is a case similar to the case of the three homes in Migron which were recently demolished in the middle of the night. In the case of Migron, Peace Now withdrew its petition after realizing that the case was faultily prepared and the documents were about land that was somewhere else, so it could not prove Arab ownership for these specific homes.
In the case of HaYovel as well, notes Huberman, there is no Arab claim on the home, but the State Attorney’s Office and the Deputy Attorney General have explained that the State does not intend to declare the land on which the home stands unclaimed because there are old ‘signs of processing of the land’ that were found in the area.
Huberman explains that this decision leaves an opening for leftist groups to someday file another petition to the Supreme Court, claiming that the land is Arab land.
National Union Chairman MK Yaakov “Ketzaleh” Katz responded to Beinisch’s ruling Thursday, saying, “As she nears retirement, Judge Beinisch is not asking for a list of tens of thousands of housing units illegally built by Arabs and Bedouin in the Galilee, Negev, Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria in order to destroy them, but is only interested in the list of Jewish homes.”
“A few months before leaving the job she is eager to fulfill her desire to see Judea and Samaria free of Jews and to build the Arab nation in the land Israel,” he added.
Katz said that he intends to submit a bill to the Knesset stating that any land, in which the State was involved in its construction, should be expropriated and retroactively declared state land.