Keep in mind the high court has already ruled in favor of the Palestinian landowners. What a farce! Notice the state did not claim any new evidence suggesting the land was not owned by the Palestinians landowners? No, they want Ulpana to serve as a test case.
According to the petition, "After much deliberation and the examination of various alternatives, and after giving due consideration to the broad social implications the implementation of these policies may have on future construction, the (government) has decided to review the legal priorities in the are."
The government wishes "To take into account all the possible zoning, social, political and operational ramifications," the appeal said.
The prosecution stressed that according to the new policy the government is promoting, "The narrow interpretation of the law, by which a structure's fate is determined, can no longer be applied to the situation on the ground; and is pursuing new policies, by which decisions regarding structures built on land whose ownership is contested, will be made on a case-by-case merit."
Law enforcement priorities in the West Bank must be ordered according to "the bigger picture and in a broad connotation," the appeal said.
The State Prosecutor's Office further argued that Ulpana must be seen as a test case and an example for the need for a more current policy.
Both Michael Sfard, international law specialist, and Peace Now used damning words to describe the radical nature of this latest development.
Yesh Din Attorney Michael Sefarad, who represents the Palestinian petitioners in the case, said in response that "Today, the Israeli government has declared war against the rule of law.
"The government, in its political despair, is assisting the theft of Palestinian land and it is razing the moral values upon which the State of Israel was founded," he said.
Peace Now issued a statement saying that the State's actions were "a constitutional terror attack. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ministers are breaking a commitment given to the court and are placing the settlers above the law.
"In the moment of truth, the government is backing land theft and the violation of court orders, only to appease a few thousand settlers who are members of the Likud caucus."
Naturally the settlers are thrilled! "That the government has finally gotten hold of the reins of sovereignty and has given tangible expression to the rule of law, justice and morality."
The State Attorney's Office had filed the appeal last Friday, asking for a three-month delay in the scheduled demolition of the Ulpana outpost. On April 30th the court granted an appeal to postpone the demolition for two months.
The High Court of Justice on Sunday granted a state appeal to postpone the demolition of illegal structures in the West Bank, granting a 60-day extension. The State Attorney's Office had filed the appeal on Friday, asking for a three-month delay in the scheduled demolition of the Ulpana outpost.
The High Court had previously ordered the evacuation of the 30 homes in the West Bank outpost by May 1 because they were built on land classified as private Palestinian property.
In the past year, right-wing politicians and residents of Ulpana have lobbied the government to legalize the homes.
There is an upcoming High Court of Justice hearing on the case, scheduled for Sunday, May 6th, 10:30am. According to Yesh Din:
Lawyers Michael Sfard, Shlomy Zachary and Avisar Lev, who petitioned the High Court of Justice on behalf of the Palestinian land owners in the Ulpana neighborhood on Jabel Artis through the human rights organization Yesh Din, submitted yesterday (Thursday) to the HCJ their response to the state's motion to nullify the verdict and submit a new state position on the petition that has been concluded. The petitioners' representatives wrote to the court that they consider the motion to be anact of contempt of court, as there is no possibility to renew deliberations on a petition in which a peremptory rule was given. "The commitments of the government of Israel are written in magic ink that can be erased by party politics."
Sfard, Zachary and Lev explain their motion by saying that the government violated the rules of etiquette that have applied to the relations between the judiciary branch and the executive branch for 64 years and threatens to crush the trust upon which our system of government is based.
“Since Israel was founded, no prime minister, no minister and no attorney general have ever dared do such a thing… the current position of the government of Israel, is that the government of Israel is allowed to retract a commitment it gave the honorable court, even when said commitment was anchored in a verdictand even when there are no new facts or force majeure that prevent its execution.”
The petitioners accuse the government that it submitted the motion at the last minute “so that the judicial branch would not to have time to react, express its opinion, or issue a warning. They acted at the last minute, on Friday afternoon, four days before the violation, two days if we subtract the Sabbath.” And they go on to ask: “What must the citizens of Israel think when they see their Prime Minister, Defense Minister, commanding general of a military command and commander in the Israel Police announcing publicly that they decided not to fulfill a commitment they gave and that was anchored in a court verdict? Do the rules that apply to citizens not apply to the government, the army and the police?”
“No citizen could reopen a file in which a verdict was given and the state's request breaks all the rules of the game. To help settlers steal Palestinian land, the government is willing to crush even the most fundamental values upon which Israeli society is built.”
“In this case, the state violated a commitment that was anchored in a verdict in a case where there is no dispute that the petitioners' land was illegally stolen and that illegal construction was built on it… When the rules crumble, when gone is the culture of government where a commitment by a prime minister and defense minister to the Supreme Court is a solid rock and a verdict that anchors a government commitment enjoys the exact same finality as an absolute order issued against a citizen – all of the arrangements that sustain us as a society are in doubt. What should the state prosecutor's office say to a defendant who signed a plea bargain that was validated as a verdict, but changed his mind a year later? What should the state attorney's office say to a commercial company that agreed to a compromise in a civil dispute as part of a legal procedure between them but changed its mind sometime later? That commitments must be fulfilled? That verdicts must be executed?....Which section of the Basic Law: The Judiciary, or Courts Law [Combined Version], 5744-1984, which regulation in the Civil Procedural Law Regulations, 5744-1984 or in the Rules of Procedure in the High Court of Justice, 5744-1984 allow ‘renewal of deliberations’ in a case in which a verdict was given (other than by way of appeal, retrial or additional hearing)?”