Photo Credit: Courtesy, Regavim
The illegal Bedouin outpost Khan al-Ahmar, established and sustained by the Palestinian Authority with help from the European Union.

The High Court of Justice handed down a decision Monday evening (Oct. 3) granting the state an additional three months to explain why the illegal outpost in the Adumim region has not been dismantled despite six “final” High Court decisions.

“If an interim government can sign historic international deals with foreign powers, why can’t it keep a decade-old commitment to uphold the law?” the Regavim Land of Israel preservation organization asked.

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Last month, when the deadline approached for the state’s response to Regavim’s petition on the failure to dismantle the illegal Khan al Ahmar outpost, the government requested another extension. This evening, citing the dissolution of the government and the impending elections, the High Court of Justice acquiesced.

Justice Noam Solberg expressed the Court’s displeasure, but nonetheless granted the government’s request – bringing to eight the number of delays it has been granted in this round of the Khan al Ahmar saga that has been in the High Court for over 13 years.

The deadline has now been pushed off until February 1, 2023 — three months after Israel’s upcoming national elections.

The Bedouin residents of Khan al Ahmar, who are not Israeli citizens, have repeatedly expressed their willingness to come to an agreement with the Israeli government to relocate to an alternative location – and the Israeli government has invested millions to prepare a legal, organized alternative on state land nearby.

The Palestinian Authority, with the support of the European Union, has blocked all attempts to reach a mutually acceptable solution, despite the dismal conditions in which the Jahalin of Khan al Ahmar are being held hostage.

“If the interim government is capable of signing commitments of historic magnitude with foreign governments, and to make high-level appointments to key public positions, how is it deemed incapable of living up to commitments that are over a decade old? Time and time again, the High Court has declared the outpost at Khan al Ahmar illegal and called for the relocation of the squatters – but Khan al Ahmar remains,” said Attorney Yael Cinnamon, representing Regavim in this case.

“The residents of the Khan al Ahmar outpost are pawns in the Palestinian Authority’s bid to fabricate an Arab presence in this strategic area,” said Meir Deutsch, Director General of Regavim.

“Apparently Defense Minister Benny Gantz has chosen to support this Arab conquest, to turn a blind eye to the rule of law and the preservation of our national interests.

“Meanwhile, Khan al Ahmar continues to grow, dozens more Palestinian Authority outposts are swallowing up the open spaces of Area C by replicating this proven method of occupation, and the High Court, despite its ‘displeasure’, is allowing the government to continue to sit idly by.“

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.