Photo Credit: Har Hebron Spokesperson's Office
Illegal Arab school built with European Union funding at archaeological site in southern Hebron Hills, March 19 2018

The Regavim NGO watchdog organization says it plans to petition the High Court of Justice for a second time, regarding a school that was built by the European Union in the heart of an archaeological site in the Southern Hebron Hills region – in defiance of an earlier decision by Israel’s High Court of Justice.

Over the past few weeks, Arabs living in the “Hirbet Z’nutah” outpost situated in the center of an archaeological site adjacent to the local municipality’s offices, have built an illegal structure with support from European Union funding.

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Six months ago, the High Court of Justice dismissed a legal action that existed in the system for more than a decade regarding Hirbet Z’nutah, (High Court of Justice case #9715/07), stipulating that the demolition orders issued for the outpost’s structures would not be implemented at the present time on condition that no additional construction was carried out at the site.

Arabs living at the site violated the agreement, with the support and encouragement of the European Union.

This week, Regavim announced that an additional petition would be submitted to the High Court of Justice in the coming days.

“Construction of a school on a protected archaeological site, with EU funding, is a gross and blatant violation of the High Court’s decision, as well as a violation of the European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage, signed in Valetta on 16.I.1992,” said Yishai Hemo, Regavim Field Coordinator for Judea and Samaria.

“The offenders have sharpened their tactical skills, and have managed to pull the wool over the Court’s eyes. They never intended to uphold their commitments in this matter. We will also be petitioning the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to demand that decisive action is taken in light of the European Union’s illegal conduct.”

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