Israeli court orders removal of illegal structure in West Bank

Jerusalem, Feb 27: The Israeli Supreme Court Wednesday ordered the state to destroy a structure in an illegal and sensitive outpost in the West Bank within two weeks, the Ha’aretz daily reported.

The illegal outpost of Havat Gilad, built on private Palestinian land not far from Nablus, has been a site of clashes between settlers and Israeli security forces for over a decade, according to Xinhua.

The outpost was established in 2002 and was included in a list of illegal outposts Israel had promised the US it would evacuate in 2009, amid international pressure. It has been dismantled several times but was rebuilt by settlers.

In 2012, a Palestinian called Azat Zoan from the village of Amatin, along with the Yesh Din non-governmental organisation (NGO) advocating for equal rights for Palestinians, turned to the supreme court asking to demolish four structures build on the land privately owned by Zoan.

The judges complied with the request and ordered the destruction of the structures in an interim decree.

The structures were then removed, however, Zoan turned to the supreme court again after in June 2013 a new structure appeared at the same plot, the one the court ordered the state to remove Wednesday.

The Supreme Court President Asher Grunis said that the original decree covers all structures in the plot, whether old or new, and said the state must destroy the structure by March 10, which may cause uproar among the settlers there.

Earlier this month, three residents of the settlement were arrested on suspicion that they were involved in price tag acts against Palestinians and torched two cars and sprayed graffiti in the Palestinian village of Farata.

IANS