The High Court has again sided with unproven ownership claims by Palestinians by ordering the demolition of 17 Israel homes.
Israel’s High Court of Justice on Tuesday ordered the demolition of 17 Israeli homes in the community of Tapuach, in Samaria, by June 2018.
The 17 structures were allegedly built without a building permit, and some of them are situated on land not owned by the State of Israel.
There is a total of 39 structures at the location.
Some structures, built on state-owned land, will be legalized, while the status of others is still under review. Only those built illegally and on supposedly privately owned land are slated for demolition.
The petition to the High Court was submitted by residents of the nearby Palestinian village of Kfar Yassouf. The ultra-left Yesh Din organization represented the alleged landowners.
Yesh Din expressed regret that the High Court did not order the removal of the community altogether, including all 39 structures.
In its ruling, the court stressed that the alleged owners did not prove ownership of the land, but the state, in its response to the petition, did not contest these assertions, and therefore the court views the land as privately owned by Palestinians.
The ruling comes just a day after the Knesset passed the historical Regulation Law, which legalized 4,000 Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria and protects them from ownership claims by alleged landowners, and just a few days after police forcefully removed the entire community of Amona, acting on a court order that was instigated by a Yesh Din petition.
Yesh Din claims that this last court order proves that the government’s policy, as expressed by the Regulation bill, is a policy of theft that prevents Palestinians from asserting their basic rights.
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked views the court ruling as a small victory. “This ruling is a great mark of success for the settlement movement because the court didn’t order the community to be demolished,” a spokeswoman for Shaked told Tazpit Press Service (TPS).
“The court ruled that 17 caravans, homes to seven families, which are currently situated on land that has not been designated as state land, will have to move in a year and a half. But the rest of the community has been legalized. The 17 caravans that are currently not located on state lands will move several meters, and the rest of the community will be legalized. Building there will continue, and the community will continue to flourish from here forward,” Shaked said.
By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News