Court will hear state motion to delay Ulpana evacuation (TIMES OF ISRAEL) By HILLARY ZAKEN 05/01/12)
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Announcement comes as jurists release petition criticizing High
Court’s decision to stay demolition of contested neighborhood
The High Court will discuss the government’s request to postpone by
90 days the eviction of the controversial Ulpana neighborhood in the
West Bank settlement of Beit El next week, Supreme Court president
Asher Grunis ruled Tuesday. The buildings in Givat Ulpana were
scheduled for destruction on May 1.
Grunis ruled in favor of hearing the government’s motion next week,
despite a letter published Tuesday by several prominent jurists
criticizing the government’s Friday request for an extension on the
High Court order.
According to the lawyers, the fact that the High Court is being asked
to reopen a closed case and delay the demolition for 90 days in
accordance with the government’s request is tantamount
to “destruction of the rule of law.”
The jurists wrote in their letter: “Last week the government of
Israel informed the Supreme Court that it does not intend to carry
out its obligations, which are anchored in a final judgment, to
evacuate… illegal construction and return the land to its legal
owners. The government also sought to reopen the case and cancel the
verdict a year after it was decided. These are serious and dangerous
steps, unprecedented, and representing the destruction of the rule of
The petition was signed by prominent jurists including former
attorney general Michael Ben Yair, former deputy attorney Judith
Karp, retired Judge Saviona Rotlevy, attorney Talia Sasson, and Prof.
In their letter, the jurists offer harsh criticism of the court and
the government, stating that the decision to stay the demolition was
dangerous and unprecedented, and would erode the court’s standing.
They argue that the court’s decision to leave the outpost standing
until it considers whether to accept the government’s request is a de
facto acceptance of the state’s petition, and that the justices
should not delay Givat Ulpana’s razing, which was scheduled for
A Supreme Court ruling on Sunday, giving the government a further 60-
day period to tackle a dispute over two other Beit El buildings, may
signal how the court will act over the Ulpana structures, according
to the lawyer representing the Palestinian landowners in the case.
The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday told
the state prosecutor to petition the court to extend the Ulpana
demolition order by 90 days in order to be able to review legal
options to save the settlement’s 30 homes slated for destruction.
The move has been criticized by left-wing politicians and civil
rights organizations, who said it showed the government’s contempt
for the court, while right-wingers and settler representatives
welcomed the move and said they were confident the court would rule
in their favor.
Haaretz quoted Yariv Oppenheimer, head of Peace Now, as saying the
move reneges on a promise to the “High Court in a crude and
unprecedented manner and places the settlers in the territories above
the law.” (© 2012 THE TIMES OF ISRAEL 05/01/12)
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