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Israeli court rejects appeal to delay settlement outpost demolition

Israel Materials 8 May 2012 03:30 (UTC +04:00)
Israel's High Court ordered Monday that five structures in a West Bank outpost must be demolished by July 1, rejecting a petition from the state.
Israeli court rejects appeal to delay settlement outpost demolition

Israel's High Court ordered Monday that five structures in a West Bank outpost must be demolished by July 1, rejecting a petition from the state, dpa reported.

The state had asked the Court to reconsider a ruling to demolish the buildings in the Ulpana outpost, on the outskirts of the settlement of Beit El, near Ramallah.

The government had originally announced it would demolish buildings by the end of May, since they had been built without authorization on private Palestinian-owned land.

But the residents of the outpost petitioned the move, arguing that the land had been legally bought from Palestinians, prompting the state to ask the court last month to delay the demolitions until the issue had been resolved.

Ha'aretz daily quoted the three justices who ruled on the petition Monday as saying that the state had to honour its obligations to the Court.

Under international law, all settlements built on occupied territory are regarded as illegal. Israel insists however that the West Bank is disputed, not occupied, and considers only outposts set up without permits to be illegal.

Since the late 1990s, radical Israeli settlers have erected about 100 such unauthorized outposts. The army periodically demolishes some, only for the settlers to rebuild them.

In some cases, the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu has negotiated with settlement leaders to retroactively legalize outposts.

Some 500,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, among 2.6 million Palestinians.

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