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State Attorney Tries to Tackle Peace Now

The State Attorney, after dozens of Peace Now appeals against Jewish homes, now says the left-wing group improperly files court appeals.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 10/22/2012, 8:41 AM

Aftermath of demolitions of Jewish homes (archive)
Aftermath of demolitions of Jewish homes (archive)
Israel news photo

The State Attorney, after dozens of Peace Now appeals against Jewish homes, now says the left-wing group improperly files court appeals, the Makor Rishon newspaper reported.

Peace Now has been in the forefront in recent years in petitioning the High Court against the right of Jews to build and live in Judea and Samaria, and in many, if not most, cases the organization has won an approving ear from the High Court.

Whether by coincidence or not, the new State Attorney position comes only several months after a dramatic change in the make-up of the High Court. Gush Etzion attorney Asher Grunis was appointed to the court and also was elected president, following the retirement of Dorit Beinisch, who consistently approved anti-nationalist initiatives to demolish Jewish homes.

The State Attorney now has outlined to the High Court that the same tactics it successfully used in the past now should be rejected.

Peace Now should not be allowed to file petitions on behalf of Palestinian Authority Arabs who claim to own Jewish land because “it is important that the claim be filed by the proper subjects of the case and not by a public claimant getting involved in a dispute that is not theirs.”

The High Court has usually accepted claims of Arab ownership even though there never has been any legal document under the Ottoman Empire and Jordanian occupation that proves deed of sale. In most cases, Arab leaders in different regions arbitrarily carved up the land and divided it among friends.

The government attorney also told the High Court that respondents in the Peace Now petitions should include Jews whose communities are affected.

Another problem with a current Peace Now appeal is that it could twist the facts if the specific case is being examined by an IDF Appeals Committee.

The State Attorney also found fault with Peace Now for combining six Jewish communities in one case even though “there are legal and factual differences of significance for the deliberations” between them.