Khan al Ahmar
Khan al AhmarRegavim

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz submitted to the Supreme Court Monday evening their response to the Regavim movement's petition in the Khan al-Ahmar affair.

In a response signed by joint affidavits of the head of the National Security Council, Meir Ben Shabbat, and Avi Roee, the Assistant to the Defense Minister for Settlement Affairs, it was stated that "the political echelon still insists on the implementation of demolition orders in the compound. At the same time, the Prime Minister's Office, in coordination with the Ministry of Defense, decided to make another effort to complete moves currently underway in the Civil Administration to examine additional options for formulating an outline for the agreed implementation of demolition orders in the complex. To that end, the political echelon needs an additional period of several months. "

The state affidavit emphasized that "there are other broad considerations" that have implications for the timing of the execution of the orders. It was further stated that in addition to these circumstances, there are limitations arising from the government's efforts to deal with the coronavirus. "The decision of the political echelon that the current time does not allow the demolition orders in the complex to be implemented during the next four months. The government and the Ministry of Defense have re-examined the timing of the execution of the orders."

The Regavim movement criticized the state's position. "The state's alleged commitment to law enforcement and to holding dialogue proceedings with the residents is no different from the previous times when the state declared the exact same things to the Supreme Court," said Meir Deutsch, director general of the Regavim movement.

"This was stated in the first petition we filed in 2009 and in all the petitions that were subsequently filed in this matter, after the state failed to implement its declarations. Each time a card is drawn from the pile of excuses that prevents the implementation of state declarations. We wonder if Netanyahu is confused between 'cannot' and 'do not want,'" Deutsch concluded.