State footdragging as PA constructs thousands of illegal homes

State presents position late, hearing on Arab outpost demolition postponed. Court: 'With better planning, State could have met timetable.'

Mordechai Sones,

Bulldozer destroys Jewish structure
Bulldozer destroys Jewish structure
Flash 90

The hearing on the petition filed by the Jerusalem Belt Forum (Forum Otef Yerushalayim) to evacuate the illegal Arab outpost Khan al-Ahmar and an Italian-built school next to Kfar Adumim was postponed today after having been postponed six months ago.

The postponement was accepted by the High Court despite the fact that the Court only recently allowed a postponement until September 19, 2017.

The State has not submitted a position and asked to be allowed to today, September 24. As a result, the Arabs petitioned the court to postpone the hearing on the grounds that they would not be able to prepare the case adequately in less than 24 hours.

Judge Neil Hendel, who heard the request, accepted the Arab position and postponed the hearing while scolding the State: "With better planning the State could have met the extremely flexible schedule it was given."

The illegal outpost Khan al-Ahmar is considered the flagship outpost of the Palestinian Authority in the Kfar Adumim area, and last month Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman promised that the outpost would be destroyed.

As early as 2009 the Regavim movement for Israeli sovereignty petitioned for the outpost's evacuation and in subsequent years three more petitions were submitted by the Jerusalem Belt Forum.

Yaniv Aharoni, Field Coordinator for the Jerusalem Belt Forum said, "Only a month ago we demanded that the Defense Minister and Prime Minister disband Khan al-Ahmar and all illegal outposts to the permanent site the State designated for them. Unfortunately, it turns out that the only thing being put out are empty promises about evacuating outposts.

"The feeble conduct of the State Prosecutor's Office and the Civil Administration in the High Court when it comes to a Palestinian outpost borders on criminal negligence and stands in complete contrast to the vigor that characterizes them when it comes to a Jewish outpost," Aharoni said.

Meir Deutsch, Director of the Regavim movement's policy department said that since the petition filed in 2009 for the first time in the Supreme Court, the Civil Administration has repeatedly delayed evacuating the illegal bloc, thus telegraphing a complaisant message to the Palestinian Authority who for their part responded by building thousands of illegal houses between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, with generous funding from foreign countries while trampling the law underfoot.

"We expect the court to put an end to the foot-dragging and set a timetable for the evacuation, and thus also to make a principled statement against foreign involvement in illegal construction in Judea and Samaria," Deutsch added.