Residents of Givat Ha’Ulpana on Friday praised the Israeli government’s request to the Supreme Court to defer the deadline for the unauthorized West Bank outpost’s demolition.
Critics of the proposed delay accused the government of trying to flout the rule of law. The state previously agreed to destroy the apartments in the Givat Ha’Ulpana outpost because they were erected on privately owned Palestinian land.
The residents said that the decision to tear down their houses — in their view, a precursor to the evacuation of thousands more housing units at unauthorized outposts and neighborhoods in Judea and Samaria — did not have any legal justification.
The request Friday said the government needs 90 more days to consider a court order to destroy the 30 housing units, adjacent to the Beit El settlement, slated to be torn down by May 1. It also asked the court to review the outpost’s judicial status.
Moshe Negbi, the Israel Broadcasting Authority’s legal analyst, said Friday that the government’s request to seek a three-month delay in implementing the court ruling “is a breach of the fundamental values of a democratic state.” He said the government was “basically asking the court for three months in which it will decide whether or not to honor the court’s decision.” The houses in question, he said, are five buildings inhabited by about 30 families.
The delay request would follow closely on the heels of a government decision this week to retroactively sanction three other outposts in the West Bank, a move that drew harsh condemnations from world leaders.
Israel has pledged to remove dozens of unauthorized outposts but has taken down only a few. The issue of West Bank settlement construction is one of the factors at the heart of the current impasse in diplomatic efforts.