When the State defends illegal outposts in the High Court, it tends to mislead – since it prefers the interests of the government over those of the public.
By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz
Last week, a new low was reached in the relationship between the State and the courts. In a judgment of a High Court of Justice petition filed by Peace Now and dealing with the non-evacuation of six outposts, Deputy Chief Justice Miriam Naor wrote the following: “I am sorry we have reached this point. I am sorry that promises made by the State to the Court via its attorneys cannot be relied on, and ought to be considered as oaths foresworn. I’m afraid we’ll have to consider, in future proper cases, ‘bonding’ such promises with final court orders, which would be a shame.” To use less exalted language, the chief justice to-be said that she can no longer trust assurances made by attorneys representing the State. Supreme Court President Grunis wrote something to a similar effect, though it was more polite.
Last Wednesday Yesh Din was once again in the halls of the High Court for two other related hearings. The first dealt with our appeal demanding the evacuation of land seized in Dura Al-Qara, which had not been used for 35 years. The second was an petition filed by Peace Now demanding the removal of two outposts, Ha’harasha and Hayovel; Yesh Din was part of the petition to remove the road leading to Hayovel outpost. Peace Now’s petition has been making its way in the courts for eight years; our petition about the road, more than four.
To an onlooker, the thing most common to both petitions was how ill-at-ease the attorneys for the state appeared. Their body language, their stutter. In the Dura al-Qara appeal, the State came up with a new term: “frozen military need.” The lands there (see the link above) were officially seized for military purposes, yet they were never used for such. Now the State wants to use them to compensate the cheated settlers of Ulapna Hill.
There’s no such thing as a “frozen military need.” Either there is a military need, which by its nature is time-limited,...Read More