Ramat Gilad
Ramat Gilad Israel news photo: Flash 90

Groups that support Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria on Monday demanded that the government “stand up” to the High Court and refuse to fulfill a court order to demolish structures built on land in Judea and Samaria that Arabs claim belongs to them. The decision primarily affects three communities – Givat Haroe'eh in the Samaria community of Eli, Ramat Gilad and Giv'at Assaf (also in Samaria), and Mitzpeh Lachish, near Nehogot, outside Hevron.

Among those calling for the government to take a stand on the issue is the Nachala movement, which provides assistance to families that move into new communities (also known as “outposts”) in Judea and Samaria. “Nachala calls on the government not to surrender to the intimidation of the High Court, and to keep ensuring the security of the Land of Israel by preserving the existing communities, and setting up new ones.”

In a decision earlier Monday, the High Court ordered the State to immediately implement steps to demolish the structures, in which dozens of families live. The Court slammed the State for failing to follow through on previous orders to demolish the buildings. The Court has been appealing orders to demolish the structures for years, the Court said, “It has taken place very slowly, and the State seems determined to stretch out the process even further,” the Court said.

“It is sad that we are forced to rely on promises made by the State that turn out not to be promises,” said Judge Miriam Naor. “We may have to take more 'concrete' steps to enforce our decisions in the future,” she said, without specifying what those steps might be.

The petition for an immediate order to demolish the structures was brought by Peace Now. The Court ordered the State to pay the leftist group NIS 25,000 in court costs. In response, Nachala said that “it would be worth it for the State to pay a fine of NIS 250,000 and continue ensuring that Jews can live anywhere in the Land of Israel.”