State asks High Court to delay Ulpana demolition (JERUSALEM POST) By TOVAH LAZAROFF, JPOST.COM STAFF 04/27/12)
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The State Attorney´s Office on Friday submitted to the High Court of
Justice an appeal to delay the scheduled demolition of the Ulpana
outpost by three months.
The state is requesting a new discussion of the petition which led
the High Court to order the evacuation of the 30 homes in the West
Bank outpost by May 1 because they were built on land classified as
private Palestinian property.
The government had originally promised the court that it would
bulldoze the homes, but in the appeal submitted Friday, the state
requested that it be given 90 days to resubmit its position, and that
the demolition of the outpost be frozen, pending this action.
Human rights organization Yesh Din, who helped the Palestinian
claimants submit the petition against the outpost in 2008, slammed
the government for failing to raze the five stone apartment buildings
in which 30 families live as it had promised.
Yesh Din legal consultant Michael Sfard said Friday that the
government of Israel had declared war on the rule of law and the
court. He added that no private citizen would be allowed to reopen a
case which had been ruled on and the state´s request to delay the
demolition of Ulpana breaks all the rules and laws of the game.
"In order to help settlers steal Palestinian lands, the government is
ready to crush the basic principles upon which Israeli society is
based," Sfard stated.
Vice Premier Silvan Shalom visited the neighborhood located on the
outskirts of the Beit El settlement on Friday, speaking with local
residents. Shalom stated that he hoped a legal solution could be
found that would allow Ulpana residents to remain in their homes, but
barring this, legislation could be passed legalizing the outpost.
In the past year, right-wing politicians and residents of Ulpana have
lobbied the government to legalize the homes.
Under Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the government initiated a
policy to demolish unauthorized Jewish homes on private Palestinians
Ulpana residents have argued that the Beit El Yeshiva and Amana – the
construction arm of the settlement movement – bought the land from
Palestinian landowners. They received state-guaranteed mortgages and
grants to buy it.
The government and the High Court do not recognize the legality of
In 2008, the Palestinian claimants petitioned the court against the
outpost. In response, the state said it would raze the five stone
apartment buildings in which 30 families live.
Still, earlier this month, Netanyahu said that he would work to find
a solution to avoid the demolition.
Since the demolition was scheduled by the state and not demanded by
the court, the government has some flexibility in this matter. But
the court must accept its request.
“The matter needs to be dealt with,” Netanyahu said in an interview
with Army Radio on Tuesday. He said that although the situation was
legally complex, there were alternative solutions to the property
The prime minister added that it was important to work within the
Earlier this week, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that if there was
no way to retroactively legalize the homes, the state could build new
homes for the Ulpana families on a 22- dunam (2.2-hectare) tract of
land elsewhere in Beit El. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 04/27/12)
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