‘Capitulation, Israeli retreat’ – NGO blasts gov’t, Supreme Court for failing to raze illegal Bedouin outpost

Government dragging its feet on clearing illegal village, despite a legal pathway to do so; Supreme Court rules that government can’t be forced to start demolition process.

By World Israel News Staff

The Supreme Court rejected a petition aimed at forcing the government to demolish the illegal Khan Al-Ahmar outpost near Jerusalem on Sunday, writing that the state cannot be forced to raze the village due to security and diplomatic concerns.

The right-wing NGO Regavim, which primarily focuses on illegal Arab construction on state lands, had filed the motion to pressure the government into finally demolishing the outpost.

After a decades-long court battle, the Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that the Bedouins living at the site, located on the outskirts of the city of Ma’ale Adumim, east of Jerusalem, had no rights to the land; nor did they construct their dwellings legally.

But despite permission from the Supreme Court to start demolition, the government has instead repeatedly postponed clearing the site.

Regavim’s petition, which was meant to force the government to execute the court’s decision, was rejected by the justices. In their ruling, they wrote that the government has the right to choose when and where to begin the evacuation process.

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“The state’s capitulation to international pressure, and today’s Supreme Court decision granting that capitulation a seal of approval, are leading the State of Israel to the brink of anarchy,” a spokesperson from Regavim said in a media statement.

“The ground rules for Israeli retreat have been laid, and foreign concerns now have official confirmation that the Israeli government will back down from its own stated policies and national interests when pressure is applied.”

In late April, the right-wing government headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu filed yet another request with the Supreme Court to delay dismantling the community. The request was approved several days later.

Despite campaign promises from the Religious Zionist Party to dismantle the longstanding illegal outpost, the government has made it clear that it has no intention to do so any time soon.