The Israeli government on Friday filed an 11th-hour petition to the
country´s High Court asking it to extend the deadline for demolition
of a settlement outpost due to be razed next week.
Documents filed to the court and obtained by AFP asked justices to
allow officials a further 90 days "to present their revised position"
on a demolition order against the outpost of Ulpana, built on private
Palestinian land near the West Bank city of Ramallah.
No date was announced for a court decision about the demolition,
which was due to happen on Tuesday next week.
Among arguments for leaving Ulpana and its 50 residents were that the
place is a neighbourhood of nearby Beit El settlement, which is
authorised by the government, rather than a separate entity.
While Israel differentiates between "legal" and "illegal"
settlements, international humanitarian law views all settlement on
occupied territory as forbidden.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu´s coalition government
leans heavily for support on the settlers and their supporters on the
On Tuesday, it retroactively legalised three outposts, a move the
Palestinians said was a dismissive response to a letter from their
president Mahmud Abbas calling for a settlement freeze and which
Washington called a source of concern.