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Expert: Court Acted Illegally in Ulpana Case

Legal expert Attorney Aharon Papo: The residents of the Ulpana neighborhood weren't properly represented.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 6/14/2012, 4:16 AM

Givat HaUlpana
Givat HaUlpana
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Legal expert Attorney Aharon Papo said on Wednesday that it is now clear beyond any doubt that the Supreme Court order to demolish the Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El was illegal.

Papo explained in a conversation with Arutz Sheva that the demolition order is illegal because the Court did not hear the position of the neighborhood’s residents.

“The Supreme Court acted illegally in this case,” he said. “How could it be the Supreme Court issued an order following a petition without giving the residents a chance to respond to the petition and defend themselves?”

He said that the fact that the petition of the leftist organizations, headed by Peace Now, against the Ulpana neighborhood was accepted, did not exempt the judiciary system from protecting the defendants.

“How could the State Attorney’s office accept the claims made in the petition without holding a hearing on it?” said Papo. “The Supreme Court always says that whoever may be affected by the petition must be a part of it. The respondents in this case simply did not receive any representation.”

Papo added that he believes the Ulpana case must go back to the Court, saying, “This is legal practice in all petitions; a person who may be affected by the petition must be represented.”

“The residents of the Ulpana neighborhood should have responded to the petition and taken an attorney to argue in their defense,” he said. “They could have offered to compensate the landowner, if there is one, or to expropriate the land. They would have required those left-wing organizations and Arabs to prove their claims in the Magistrates Court or in the District Court. The order was given here without justice being done.”

Brigadier General (res.) Rav Avichai Ronsky, the former Chief Military Rabbi, issued a call through Arutz Sheva Wednesday for Israelis to come to Beit El and join the struggle against the destruction of 30 homes in the Ulpana neighborhood.

Rav Ronsky, who heads the Itamar Yeshiva and is a part of Naftali Bennett's new faction in the Jewish Home, explained that he is less naïve than he was during the 2005 "Disengagement" pullback from Gaza. "Since that sorry expulsion, the rules of the game have changed," he said.