The High Court of Justice issued a conditional order on Sunday evening in the most recent round of deliberations on the illegal Arab post of Khan al Ahmar case, the latest phase in 13 years of court battles.
The order gives the government 120 days to explain its failure to fulfill the three-year-old commitment to enforce the law “in the near future,” follows the government’s most recent request for an additional postponement.
“In light of the frequent requests for extensions and postponements, some of which were justified but most of which were less so; and in light of the amount of time that this petition has been pending, nearly three years; and in light of the fact that this ‘saga’ has been unfolding since 2009 when demolition orders were issued … we are forced at this juncture to take a further step toward a conclusion, by issuing a conditional order,” the court stated.
The Regavim Movement, the petitioner in the ongoing battle over the illegal encampment in the Adumim region, stated in response that “the fact that we have been forced to petition the High Court of Justice again and again in order to compel the government to enforce the law is bad enough.”
“Even worse is the government repeatedly giving a commitment to the High Court that it will enforce the law- and then fulfill its commitments. It is not the job of the judicial branch to bail the executive branch out of the mess it’s made,” Regavim noted.
After severely criticizing Benjamin Netanyahu for his inaction on the removal of the illegal Arab outpost of Khan al-Ahmar, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is seeking to further postpone the evacuation, adopting the same line of the Netanyahu government.
In all of its recent campaigns, Bennett’s Yemina Party explained that Netanyahu had to be replaced in order to properly fight the Palestinian Authority’s takeover of Area C in Judea and Samaria, to stop the loss of state land in the Negev to Bedouin squatters, to restore the rule of law to the Galilee and the Negev, and to evacuate the illegal outpost known as Khan al Ahmar.
Bennett’s coalition partners, including Ayelet Shaked, Zeev Elkin, Avigdor Liberman, and Yoaz Handel, were also very loud with their criticism of Netanyahu’s policy, but are doing exactly what he did, and for the same reason – a fear of a diplomatic clash with Europe.
The Khan al Ahmar saga, more than a decade long, has been heard in multiple High Court of Justice petitions submitted by Regavim.
In 2018, the Israeli government announced its intention to complete the evacuation and relocation of the illegal outpost, the flagship of the Palestinian Authority’s systematic program of territorial dominance in Area C, but has since repeatedly postponed the court-ordered action.
The Jahalin Bedouin, the residents of Kahn Al-Ahmar, are an offshoot of a larger tribe based in southern Israel. After a blood feud that occurred within the tribe in the 1970s, some of the families were forced out and migrated north, arriving and settling in their present location after the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
The location of the illegal structures is hazardous due to its proximity to Highway 1, a major transportation artery. Khan al Ahmar overlooks the road that connects Jerusalem to the south of Israel in a strategic area.