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High Court orders razing of outpost built on private Palestinian land

The High Court of Justice rules that the government must halt construction in the West Bank outpost of Mitzpe Kramim and evacuate all illegally built homes within three years, overturning previous court and government decisions on the matter.

The court says the time period provided is intended to allow the government to provide all residents proper alternative housing.

In a 2 to 1 ruling, judges said “Much of the responsibility for the difficult and painful result for residents of Mitzpe Kramim rests with the government and the conduct of relevant officials.”

A general view shows the Israeli settlement of Mitzpe Kramim in the West Bank, on August 29, 2018. (AFP / THOMAS COEX)

Right-wing leaders are aghast, with Yamina MK Ayelet Shaked calling the decision “damned” and vowing to fight it, and Likud’s coalition chairman Miki Zohar saying: “When it comes to demolishing Jewish homes, the High Court does not waste time.”

Courts have ruled that Mitzpe Kramim’s homes were built on private Palestinian land. But in 2018 the Jerusalem District Court green-lighted the homes citing a policy known as “market regulation,” that relies on the notion that they were built in good faith as those responsible them were not aware that the lands were privately owned.

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