Israeli Supreme Court nixes settlement policy
An Israeli soldier stands guard near a gate at the main entrance to the unauthorized Israeli outpost of Migron near the West Bank. The Israeli Supreme Court’s rule is likely to raise tension at the outpost. REUTERS photoThe Israeli Supreme Court has rejected the state’s request to postpone dismantling a large, unsanctioned West Bank settler enclave until late 2015, dealing a serious blow to settler hopes of keeping dozens of rogue outposts standing.
The court said it would extend the deadline set last year from March to August 2012, but that it could not approve any further delay. “We are pushing the evacuation back by four months, it must take place no later than August 1, 2012,” the court decision said. The Israeli government had sought court approval for a deal it agreed with Migron’s residents after the court ordered the outpost to be dismantled last August.
Under the government deal, Migron’s residents were to be allowed to remain at the outpost until November 2015 while the government built them new homes on land elsewhere in the West Bank, just a few kilometers away. The court did not rule on where the residents would be moved to, but said the timeframe contained within the deal was unacceptable. Settler leader Shimon Riklin, one of the enclave’s founders said that the evacuation of Migron “would not pass quietly.”
A spokesman for the Palestinians, who claim all of the West Bank as part of a future state, was skeptical that the ruling would be carried out. The deal came days after the U.N. Human Rights Council passed a resolution ordering a first probe into how Israeli settlements may be infringing on the rights of the Palestinians. The Council’s resolution called on Israel to take serious measures to prevent settler violence “including confiscation of arms and enforcement of criminal sanctions,” and to protect Palestinian civilians and property. The ruling stated that Migron was “one of the most difficult and unusual cases when it comes to outposts,” noting that it had been built on privately-owned Palestinian land. It noted that the government had sought a deal under which residents would voluntarily leave the settlement, but said that upholding the law was more important than a negotiated agreement.
Compiled from AP and AFP stories by the Daily News staff.
ISRAEL PREPARES FOR GLOBAL MARCH
Israel is preparing for massive protests and possible infiltration attempts along its borders as part of the “Global March to Jerusalem,” set for March 30, Ynet website has reported. The Global March to Jerusalem is an initiative aiming to organize non-violent civil resistance in Palestine and four neighboring countries: Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria. The initiative is comprised of a diverse coalition of Palestinian, Arab and international activists, including Turks, who are united “to liberate Jerusalem.”