Court: Palestinians must stop building near Sussiya

Ruling came against backdrop of advocacy group petition to compel Civilian Administration to demolish Palestinian structures.

The High Court of Justice on Thursday issued an interim order restraining approximately 30 Palestinians from building in the Sussiya settlement area, south of Mount Hebron.The order came against the backdrop of a petition filed by the Regavim organization requesting that the court order the Civilian Administration for the West Bank to demolish what it characterized as illegally built Palestinian structures.


Construction in Jerusalem's Har Homa neighborhood - Photo: REUTERS
Construction in Jerusalem’s Har Homa neighborhood – Photo: REUTERS

The Palestinians with built structures and those seeking to continue to build in the area asked the court to restrain the Civilian Administration from issuing any demolition orders.In the ruling, Supreme Court President Asher Grunis separated the various parties into different categories.

One group of Palestinians have 45 days to consult with Regavim, the Civil Administration and other parties to clarify which of their buildings are in dispute, which are not and which are already under order for demolition.

If no agreement is reached between the sides identifying which buildings and plots of land are in dispute, the sides are to notify the court, which will hold another hearing on the issue.

Another smaller group of Palestinians are to update the court within 90 days with respect to permits they are seeking regarding building in the area.

The reason that the court issued an interim order halting any new construction was that the Palestinians involved had continued building even after the petition by Regavim was filed on February 21.

The Regavim Movement says that it aims, among other things, to highlight the issues surrounding what it characterizes as Arab land expansion and prevent it by educating the public.

More broadly it views itself as “setting a Jewish Zionist agenda for the State of Israel, toward official Zionistic policies by all the authorities, with an emphasis on the land and its preservation,” according to its website.

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