60 Day Extension on Beit El Demolition

The Supreme Court has given the state another 60 days to the demolition of two buildings in Beit El.

Maayana Miskin,

Supreme Court
Supreme Court
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Supreme Court ruled Sunday that demolition of two unpopulated buildings in Beit El, north of Jerusalem, may be postponed by 60 days. State attorneys requested the deferral in hopes that the extra time will allow them to find a solution other than demolition.

The court ordered the buildings destroyed by May of this year after the left-wing group Yesh Din filed suit claiming they have been built on land owned by a Palestinian Authority Arab man.

However, the question of who owns the land has not yet been resolved in court. Beit El residents were not heard in the initial case, and have appealed to a lower court, arguing that the land is in fact legally theirs.

State Prosecution attorney Osnat Mendel told the court that the state is re-examining the status of buildings in Beit El as a whole, and needs time to complete its work. In addition, she said, the state is not prepared for a demolition at this time.

Justices Asher Grunis, Edna Arbel, and Yoram Danziger partially granted  the request, giving 60 days instead of the 90 that Mendel asked for.

Yesh Din attorney Michael Sfard expressed annoyance at the verdict.