J'lem court requires State to confront illegal UN building

Court obligates State to clarify how it intends to enforce law against illegal UN construction in Jerusalem.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Armon Hanatziv
Armon Hanatziv
Flash 90
Justice Oded Shaham of the Jerusalem District Court denied the State’s request to reject Regavim’s petition.
Attorney Cheli Lasser, representing the State, argued that diplomatic talks with the UN take time. Furthermore, she argued, the diplomatic immunity enjoyed by the UN renders Regavim’s petition unnecessary.
“The State must be allowed to proceed, as long as it takes responsibility and remains proactive,” argued the State’s representative. “It is not reasonable that an NGO should be looking over the State’s shoulder, as it were.”
The Regavim Movement presented to the Court a copy of a recently-discovered building tender issued by the UN for an additional construction project that has not been cleared or coordinated with the Government. This tender was issued at the same time the State announced that Prime Minister Netanyahu and UN Secretary General Guterres had agreed to institute a system of coordination, consistent with the principles of Israel’s Planning and Building Code.
The State’s representative admitted, in response to Justice Shaham’s question, that the State had not, in fact, been given advance notification of the UN’s new building plans.
Overruling the State’s objections, Justice Shaham ordered that Regavim’s petition remain pending, and stipulated that future deliberations may include the question of the State’s authority to enforce Israeli law in the UN compound. Justice Shaham accepted Regavim’s position, and required the State to apprise the Court of the results of the diplomatic negotiations with the UN on this matter no later than February 2018, because, in the words of Justice Shaham, “these matters may have implications for the disposition of the larger issues at hand.”
Regavim welcomed the Court’s decision. “We are pleased with the Court’s decision to require the State to clarify precisely how it intends to enforce the law at the UN compound, and to clarify whether the diplomatic efforts have had actual results,” said Attorney Avi Segal following the hearing. “Additionally, the issue of the UN’s encroachment and seizure of some 30 dunams of State land, adjacent to the area allotted to the UN by the State of Israel, will be raised in a separate hearing.”