Netanyahu seeks to postpone hearing on petition demanding Khan al-Ahmar removal

Prime Minister was due to respond to Regavim petition demanding to implement demolition orders; postponement requested due to coronavirus.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

חאן אל אחמר
חאן אל אחמר
צילום: תנועת רגבים

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu asked the Supreme Court to allow a six-month postponement of the state's response to the Regavim petition demanding the implementation of the demolition orders issued for the illegal Bedouin outpost Khan al-Ahmar.

Netanyahu wants to postpone the discussion on the issue, which is currently scheduled for the end of the month, and claims that the postponement should be allowed due to the coronavirus crisis.

The Regavim movement filed the petition in 2019 and the Prime Minister has delayed the submission of his response to it on various pretexts.

In September 2018, the Supreme Court issued a ruling giving the state a 'green light' to evacuate the illegal buildings in Khan al-Ahmar which were built on state land, within the blue line of the community of Kfar Adumim.

The ruling was issued following the fifth petition filed by the Regavim movement, which has been waging a legal battle over the matter since 2009. The Court then rejected Regavim's petition on the basis of the state's commitment to evacuate the outpost "in the near future."

In October 2018, shortly after the ruling, Prime Minister Netanyahu declared at the beginning of the cabinet meeting that "Khan al-Ahmar will be evacuated, with or without [the residents] consent. It will not take many weeks, it will be much shorter."

After many months in which the compound has not been evacuated, the Regavim movement petitioned the Supreme Court for the sixth time, requesting a conditional order against the state, which will explain why it has not enforced the law and the implementation of the ruling within a limited period of time.

The state was supposed to respond to the petition on the eve of the second Knesset election in 2019, but it claimed that the government at the time was a transitional government, and therefore sought to postpone the response until after the formation of a government. The ongoing political crisis led the court to approve the further postponement.

Last week, the state again asked for a short extension to file its response, but today the state asked to postpone the hearing and its response to the petition for another six months.

The affidavit of reply, signed by Meir Ben Shabbat, head of the National Security Council, states that the new government was sworn in at a "complex and sensitive period that has no equal in our governmental history."