The state has enacted an order against PA takeover of government-owned lands, but the Civil Administration has failed to enforce it.
In recent months, the PA, aided by the EU, has carried out a continuous incursion into Israeli government-owned lands in the direction of the industrial area of ??the city of Ariel, in Area C, that’s supposed to be under full Israeli control.
Areas which have been taken over are located on the outskirts of an antiquities site called Khirbet Kurkosh. The process began with construction of roads in the area and continued with land development work and the planting of olive trees.
Now the construction of a large electricity infrastructure, at a considerable distance from the PA-controlled village where the incursion is coming from, is nearing completion. The area in discussion is defined as survey lands – state lands whose registration has not yet been completed.
The Palestinian Authority and its partners in the European Union are also being accused of “years of exploiting bureaucratic and legal barriers to prevent law enforcement against illegal takeovers [of Israeli land].”
The petition to the Supreme Court emphasizes that despite six separate appeals demanding enforcement of the law at each stage of the invasion, the process has continued, with no legal action in sight.
In 2018, the “Order for the Disposal of New Buildings” was enacted by the defense establishment and the State Attorney’s Office as part of the “Campaign in Area C”, which allows for the demolition of new housing constructed without a permit within a six-months period and 96 hours of the order being given.
Fowing the enactment of the order, left-wing associations petitioned against it, but the High Court rejected the petition and allowed its use.
However, despite the Court’s ruling, the state has made minimal use of the order, even though it has been proven to be a highly effective and efficient tool in the fight against illegal construction.
In the petition filed by the Regavim movement and the Samaria Regional Council, attorneys Avi Segal and Yael Sinmon requested that the Supreme Court order the authorities to use the “order for the removal of new buildings” against the invasion of areas near the city of Ariel.
The head of the Samaria Council, Yossi Dagan, said, “The security cabinet declared a campaign on Area C, and it is time for law enforcement agencies to act accordingly – in a systemic fashion. The Palestinian Authority’s rampage must be stopped and a clear and determined message conveyed.”
“This is a case that illustrates the PA’s systemic, budgeted and planned takeover of Area C, which seeks to move the center of gravity of the development of localities from Area B to C, in order to establish facts on the ground and reduce Israel’s security and political freedom of action in strategic Area C, including future agreements,” reads the petition.