High Court demands Israel submit plan to end illegal Jewish settler activities

Middle East Monitor  /  April 27, 2022

The Israeli High Court of Justice, on Monday, ordered the State to submit a plan detailing steps to ensure Jewish settlers living in Nokdim, an illegal [under international law all Jewish settlements are illegal] West Bank settlement, will stop attacking the Palestinian villagers.

According to Haaretz, the Jewish settlers have been given 15 days to justify their illegal activities on the Palestinian land, including planting trees and paving a bicycle path.

Israel’s Civil Administration is demanding to know why it should not be considered squatting and threatening to uproot all the trees if the State does not respond in time.

This comes after the Palestinian owners filed two previous petitions to the Israeli court on this issue. However, one was dismissed following the settlers’ promise to allow them access to their land throughout the day.

During hearings on the second, the State, according to Haaretz, acknowledged the Palestinian villagers’ connection to the land and promised to enable their access to it in coordination with the Israeli Civil Administration.

However, the current petition was filed due to the broken promise and settlers who remain illegally on their land for years. Additionally, it charged that the Israeli Civil Administration fails to prioritize their agricultural needs by disregarding their requests for access to the land.

Furthermore, the Palestinians are requesting that the State fence off the enclave and install security cameras to prevent further incursions.

Court Justice, Uzi Vogelman, criticized the Civil Administration for its delayed action against the settlers. He said, “Apparently, the petition has the power to serve as a trigger to speed up things that haven’t been done.”

Palestinians accuse the Israeli authorities of aiding and abetting settler attacks as part of official efforts to intensify the number and size of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories.

During Tuesday’s hearing, Court Justices Alex Stein, Uzi Vogelman and Noam Sohlberg gave the State 60 days to explain what it plans to do regarding the illegal settlers.

All Jewish settlements and Jewish settlers are illegal under international law. Nevertheless, according to official data, around 650,000 extremist Jewish settlers live in more than 130 settlements that have been built on Palestinian land since the occupation of the West Bank started in 1967.