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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Israel High Court’

PA Arabs Go to Court to Divide Efrat

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

The Palestinian Authority made its case in the High Court Wednesday in a suit that claims the government discriminated against Arabs during a process that declared Givat Eitam in Efrat “state land.”

Givat Eitam is an area of approximately 500 acres and is so large that it has been termed “Efrat ‘B,’” where 2000 homes could be built.

The area includes approximately 75 acres bought by a Jew before the re-establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. The land was registered with the Jewish National Fund (JNF) in order to protect the identity of the purchaser, Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi told the Jewish Press.

The entire Givat Eitam, literally the “Eitam Hill,” was state land under the Ottoman Empire and during the Jordanian occupation after the War for Independence until the Six-Day War in 1967.

However, apparently trying to avoid claims it is “occupying” the area that was not under any internationally-recognized rule, Israel kept the area as a sort of “no-man’s land” and did not allow Efrat to build on Givat Eitam or even work the land as a farm.

After a nine-year process towards declaring it state land, Israel allowed all parties to stake claims. Oded said that there were nine Arab claims on different parcels of land, and one was accepted. The government rejected the other claims because the land had not been worked for 10 years.

Arabs claim that Efrat blocked them from farming the land, an assertion that is difficult to swallow because if it were true, the supposed landowners could have gone to the courts. Furthermore, if they were the landowners, why was the same area “state land” under Turkish and Jordanian rule?

PA Arabs, buoyed by Peace now and other left-wing supporters who have succeeded in winning court cases on property claims without proving landownership, found a new tactic.

They appealed to the High Court in 2009 and accused the government of Israel of discrimination in the process of declaring Givat Eitam state land.

When the court heard the case on Wednesday, lawyers for the Arabs reasoned that since the process applied only to the land that is not owned by Jews, that proves that the government’s intention was only to take over what the Arabs said is their land.

One of the judges on the three-justice panel saw through the hollow reasoning. He asked the lawyer if he really thinks that the government would declare as “state land” an area that already is proven to be legally registered by Jews.

When a judge asks that kind of question in a hearing, it usually points in the direction of the eventual ruling, which will be handed down at a future date.

The argument “shows that the Arabs did not challenge the ‘state land’ designation’ innocently, according to Oded.

Asked what would happen if the High Court rules against the government and recognizes the Arab claims, Oded sad he really does not know.

The entire issue is buried in semantics. When Haaretz’s Amira Hess reported the story earlier this week, she wrote, “Local Palestinians have also expressed concern that if the land is claimed by the state, Efrat will be expanded and Bethlehem will ultimately be cut off from Palestinian towns to the south.”

Obviously, the land will be used for homes, but the other side of the coin is that the Arabs wants to cut off one area of Efrat from the other.

The claim that Bethlehem would be cut off from other Arab villages is patently false because building on Givat Eitam would not change the current situation.

Revivi told the Chinese news agency Xinhua three years ago, after the petition was filed in court,  ”Givat Eitam was declared state land three years ago, so it is not Palestinian land, and the whole city plan was laid out in 1983, for all of Efrat, so to come and say we are trying to expand is ridiculous because this was part of the original plan.”

Peace Now’s Hagit Ofran boldly admitted the facts don’t matter. She told Xinhua, “I don’t care when it was approved, it’s against Israeli interests because it makes a two-state solution much harder.”

That, of course, depends on a negotiated border of two states, something that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has categorically stated that is not for negotiation.

Cabinet To Extend Law Denying Citizenship to Palestinians Who Marry Israelis

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

PM Binyamin Netanyahu’s cabinet is expected to approve a one-year extension of the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, which bans Palestinians married to Israeli citizens from residing in Israel.

The preamble of the resolution that the cabinet will be discussing cites an Israel Security Service (Shin Bet) assessment that the law should be extended because Palestinians applying for spousal unification constitute “a heightened potential security risk.”

Since it is a temporary order, the Citizenship Law must continually be extended in order to remain in force.

Earlier this month, the Israeli High Court of Justice rejected three petitions which claimed that the Citizenship Law is unconstitutional.

Egged Buses Return to Mea Shearim

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

It’s been a year and half since the Israeli bus giant, Egged, has run lines 1 and 2 through the heart of Mea Shearim. That is because Egged officials suspended service on those routes as a response to rock throwing directed at those buses and and road blocks set up by some ultra-Orthodox Jews. The Jews behind the violence claimed that Egged’s lack of consent to “Mehadrin” lines, that is, buses which have separate men/women seating, led to the actions. Israel’s High Court has ruled that “Mehadrin” lines are illegal.

 

Throughout the suspension, other Buses continued to run on the main roads of Mea She’arim, including many lines that use Strauss Street which connects the city center to the direction of the French Hill neighborhood and the Hebrew University’s Mount Scopus campus.

 

Tuesday, a year and half later, saw a cautious attempt by the Egged company to return those lines, albeit, with heavy police escort. While most of the ride went off without a hitch, a few youths did hurl stones as the buses drove through the community.

 

However, even the stone-throwing did not dampen the optimism of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat who welcomed the move. ”A good decision” he stressed. “There was violence in the past and this caused Egged bus lines not to pass through the neighborhood - but that’s over now.  We should return the routine for the residents - in Mea Shearim and also for the public as a whole - and I expect the police, and the general public, to allow traffic to flow for all communities in the city” said Barkat.

 

Jerusalem police spokesman said in response that “During the past eighteen months, the we have been in contact with Egged in order to restore its lines to the Mea Shearim neighborhood, promising on our part that trips will be supervised. Recently Egged agreed to return the lines in coordination with the police into the neighborhood of Mea Shearim.”

 

An Egged spokesman said that  in the last year and half “the company did not operate in Mea Shearim as directed by Jerusalem police. This was due to insecurity posed to riders by a handful of Haredi rioters. As the directives change, we will act according to the security recommendations.”

 

Many in Mea Shearim welcomed the return of the buses and claimed that the violence was perpetrated by a non-representative minority. On the other hand, some residents were pleased that exhaust fumes had diminished in the absence of the buses, while still others voiced concern that children had grown accustomed to lessened traffic and could be harmed by the reintroduction of the lines.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/egged-buses-return-to-mea-shearim/2011/12/01/

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