Israeli officials: Knesset must approve West Bank outpost condemned by High Court (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Chaim Levinson, Ophir Bar-Zohar and Jonathan Lis 05/08/12)
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The Knesset must quickly advance a law to bypass the Supreme Court
and approve the West Bank outpost of Ulpana, a senior Likud MK said
on Monday, following the High Court of Justice´s rejection of a state
bid to forestall Ulpana´s demolition.
Earlier Monday, Supreme Court President Ahser Grunis along with
Justices Salim Joubran and Uzi Fogelman rejected the state´s request
to postpone the evacuation, saying the illegal Ulpana structures
would have to be evacuated by July 1.
In their ruling, the justices wrote that it was especially important
for the state to honor its obligations to the High Court, adding that
by "accepting the state´s position, according to which the need to
revisit policy is a reason to reopen a finalized process, may lead to
In response to the ruling, Likud MK Danny Danon released a statement
according to which he had urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to
advance legislation that would enable the Knesset to bypass the
"The current High Court´s ruling exactly showcases the need for High
Court-bypassing laws, to pass flash legislation, and to sanction the
neighborhood," Danon said, adding that it was "public officials,
headed by the Likud government, are the ones to decide on essential
issues of values, not the High Court which does not represent the
will of the people, but their own views."
"The Ulpana neighborhood will not be evacuated," he added.
Education Minister Gideon Sa´ar said that the High Court´s ruling
was "unjust," adding that the Knesset must consider legislation to
forestall Ulpana´s demolition."
Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein also criticized the High
Court´s ruling, saying that the outposts´ residents were "normative
families who took a mortgage from the state in order to live in
houses built with the aid of the Housing Ministry."
"As we have warned more than once, a solution will not be found
without legislation," Edelstein said, adding: "I want to see
the ´hero´ who would dare evacuate, among other families, the
children of the Dickstein family, who lost their parents in a terror
Transportation Minister Yaakov Katz called the ruling the "wrong
decision, one which the public cannot stand."
"The Israeli government must begin a legislative process that would
prevent the structures´ demolition and would allow the neighborhood´s
residents to remain in their homes," Katz added, saying that
the "difficult images of people evacuated from their homes mustn´t
In another response to the court´s ruling, Ulpana residents said that
it was "now the Israeli government´s time to assert its sovereignty
and regulate the 9,000 housing units, including the Uplana, which it
built with its own hands and provided grants and stimulants to their
United Arab List-Ta’al chairman Ahmed Tibi, who spoke for the
Palestinian land owners in their original appeal, said the High Court
in its ruling refused "the government´s delusional request for the
High Court to allow a brutal violation of the law."
Tibi expressed the hope that the government would uphold the decision
and demolish the neighborhood, adding that the entire settlement of
Beit El, of which Ulpana is a neighborhood, should also be demolished
since it was in violation of international law.
Also commenting on the decision, the left-wing NGO Yesh Din, who
represented the Palestinian claimants in their appeal to evacuate the
outpost, congratulated the High Court for "insisting on the
principles of justice and the rule of law."
Meanwhile, Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz told
Haaretz on Mopnday he was looking into the possibility of assembling
the Knesset before the elections to pass a bill that could approve
several illegal West Bank outposts, such as Ulpana.
According to the bill, which was initially submitted by Habayit
Hayehudi´s Zevulun Orlev and Likud´s Ze´ev Elkin, along with 18 other
MKs, a Jewish residential neighborhood that had been built on land
whose legal owners didn´t challenge the construction within four
years, would not be evacuated.
Instead, the bill allows for the courts to set compensation for the
owners, either in cash or in alternate land nearby of equal value. In
the bill´s explanatory notes, Orlev and the 19 other MKs signed on to
state that this process would only apply to communities of at least
According to Hershkowitz´s proposition the bill, which had not
received official coalition sponsorship, would be submitted by the
government in the period between the Knesset´s dissolution and
upcoming general elections in September 4.
"The High Court isn´t supposed to dictate the government´s policy.
The Knesset´s dissolution must be postponed by a day in order to
flash-legislate the law, Hershkowitz said. (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz
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