Daily Israel Report

Judge: Sasson Report Dictates Authorizing, Not Demolishing

Opinion is based on efforts of a number of governments to establish Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria
By Ernie Singer
First Publish: 1/3/2012, 3:14 AM

Talia Sasson
Talia Sasson
Israel news: Flash 90

Retired Judge Uri Strausman of the Tel Aviv District Court has analyzed the 2005 report by attorney Talia Sasson on outposts and other Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, and established a legal opinion on his own behalf that the data coming out of the report requires that the Israeli government actually authorize the outposts and not destroy them as understood so far.

Written out completely in the newspaper Makor Rishon, Strausman determined that the fact presented in the report was that Israeli governments were those who backed the establishment of outposts in practice and action as they helped in their establishment, transferred different services to them and more. This was like a promise of the sovereign that it was a legal place or would be a legal place in the future, and now the government is obligated to carry out its obligation to citizens who went to live there and authorize the legality of the residence.

“It is inconceivable that the defense minister did not know what’s going on in the hills when all the world knows what happens there,” said the retired judge, indicating the reliability of the data raised by Attorney Sasson in her report was undisputed even by the Jewish residents themselves, and the dispute is solely about the obvious resulting conclusion.

Strausman proceeded to say that he was convinced that claims to this effect have been brought up. Now, since no authorization had taken place, he got into the thick of things, questioned what came out of the pages of the report and issued this opinion which was submitted to the Prime Minister's Office, but as of now, it has not been made known to him if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has reviewed it.

The retired judge denied claims made to his face as if there is room to compare the reality of the outposts to a mayor who promised a certain person that specific land would be approved for construction. The same person built, the land was not approved and the court ordered the demolition of the building. In Judge Strausman’s view, it is a completely different reality, for while the mayor does not make the rules but merely enforces them, his statements cannot be regarded as the sovereign’s promise. In contrast, government, as a determiner of the law, can promise the citizen that its actions are lawful and later it must implement this promise.

Strausman insisted that there is no legal difference between a promise given in writing and one given orally, as did the governments of Israel when they gave practical backing for construction in Judea and Samaria. In this context he mentioned two rulings, one from 30 years ago and the other in recent weeks and in both, the court ordered the state to keep the promises that were made by its agents even if not explicitly. The last case is the case of Yonatan Bassi, who made promises to the displaced Jewish residents of Gush Katif, and then the state renounced these promises. The court required the State to implement these promises.

He also wrote that suits have been filed by citizens in Judea and Samaria against the state, claiming that the backup given to their taking possession of the property was interpreted as confirmation of the legality of this possession, and now the state cannot deny things and order their removal from the place and demolition of buildings there.