Photo Credit: Hillel Maeir/TPS
Illegal Bedouin shantytown Khan el Amar, near Jerusalem. Jan 10, 2016.

After the High Court of Justice called Netanyahu’s conduct “an embarrassment” and instructed the Prime Minister to submit a response by Sunday, 1 November (yesterday) to Regavim’s petition in the Khan al Ahmar case, the deadline has passed and Netanyahu’s response was not filed.

Prime Minister Netanyahu was required by the High Court of Justice to submit an official response explaining the government’s position on the evacuation of the illegal outpost known as Khan al Ahmar. The deadline, which had been extending numerous times, passed yesterday, but no response was submitted.

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This past September, when Netanyahu requested an additional six-month postponement in the Khan al Ahmar case, Justice Noam Solberg reacted with sharp criticism of the Prime Minister’s conduct in the case. Calling the government’s behavior “an embarrassment,” the High Court required the government to submit its response no later than 1 November.

“Two years later – there is nothing new under the sun. Despite the fact that the state’s representatives have argued before this Court in the past that the execution of judgements in this case are a pressing, even urgent, matter, and despite the fact that this Court has allowed the state latitude, time and time again, in carrying out its decisions, nothing has changed: What was is what will be, and what has been done continues to be done,” Justice Solberg wrote in an uncharacteristically scathing decision.

“The government must honor its own pronouncements and enable others to take these pronouncements seriously, and not render them null or vacant promises.”

In light of Netanyahu’s disregard for the High Court’s ruling and its failure to file an official response, Regavim’s attorneys Avi Segal and Yael Cinnamon are submitting a request for summary judgement this morning.

“This conduct is an embarrassment not only because of the current proceedings,” says Meir Deutsch, Director General of Regavim. “It is a reflection of Netanyahu’s indecisive conduct over the years, in the face of the Palestinian take-over of huge chunks of Judea and Samaria and their construction of tens of thousands of illegal structures in strategic areas under full Israeli jurisdiction. Khan al Ahmar is a test case, but it is just the tip of the iceberg.”

The Khan al Ahmar saga – more than a decade in the making – has been heard in 6 High Court of Justice petitions submitted by Regavim.

In 2018, the Israeli government announced its intention to complete the evacuation and relocation of this illegal outpost, the flagship of the Palestinian Authority’s systematic program of territorial dominance in Area C. The High Court of Justice approved the evacuation of the outpost, and this most recent petition was filed when the government failed to fulfill its commitment.

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