High Court orders Shiloh construction investigation
The High Court of Justice ordered the state on Tuesday to notify the court within 60 days regarding its intention to open a criminal investigation into unauthorized construction in the West Bank settlement of Shiloh.
The panel of three justices – Miriam Naor, Esther Hayut and Neal Handel – also ordered the state to update the court regarding the issue of continued construction plans in Shiloh.
The ruling came after the court heard a petition on Monday filed by Peace Now regarding unauthorized construction of residential housing units in the settlement, northeast of Ramallah.
Peace Now claims the construction, on three areas of designated state land, is illegal because the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council has not received appropriate planning permits from the Defense Ministry.
The state informed the High Court on Sunday that the Defense Ministry decided to retroactively approve building plans in Shiloh, a move that will legalize 119 residential units in the settlement.
Attorney Akiva Sylvetsky, the Binyamin Local Authority's legal representative, showed the court precedents it has set itself, which determined that the court shall not force authorities to take enforcement measures in places where the state declares an intention to legalize the construction.
The motion by Peace Now is therefore superfluous, he said.
Sylvetsky also said that Peace Now never filed any kind of complaint with the Binyamin Local Authority.
In the course of the session, the judges expressed puzzlement at the attempt by Peace Now to involve the court in matters of construction on state land within communities. The court said it would give a decision in the coming days.
Check my previous post for some explanations of what's going on but bureaucratic delay is not an unknow problem, even in Shiloh...Southwest Illinois:-
Police contract negotiations cost Shiloh $30,000
It took 17 months for the Village of Shiloh and the Fraternal Order of Police to come to terms on a new contract, which gave full-time police officers on average a 3 percent raise last year, this year and next year.
In addition to pay increases, the lengthy contract negotations cost the village $30,000 in legal fees.
And I finally received from Dani Dayan his op-ed on the subject from January 2008: Legal, and then some which provides some insight into related problems.
...The decision to form Bruchin came from the ministerial committee on settlement in 1983. Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin approved the decision in 1988. Former defense minister Moshe Arens also gave his approval to Bruchin's construction several years later. The area designated for Bruchin was all state-owned.
The state approved the development of infrastructures for the town. The non-governmental pacifist organization Peace Now argues the state invested over $3 million in the town. Bruchin is now home to some 80 families, who most ly reside in permanent homes.
The government, following Sasson's lead and the media, claims that Bruchin is unauthorized and illegal.
Bruchin was authorized by the appropriate state authorities. The land it occupies is state land, and it has a detailed municipal outline. But since its formal approval process isn't completed, Sasson calls Bruchin an illegal outpost. And so, the Israel Electric Corporation does not upgrade the town's infrastructure.
On the western side of the Green Line lies Lehavot Haviva, a veteran kibbutz belonging to the Hashomer Hatzair movement. I do not know whether in 1949, when the kibbutz was established, or in 1951 when it was moved to its current locale, it was done as a government resolution. What is certain is that the kibbutz was set up on lands that did not belong to the state.
Before it was moved to its current location, the authorities evicted the people of the Arab village Jalameh, in the framework of a plan by the Prime Minister's Office to "remove small Arab shanties and move their inhabitants to larger villages." The residents of the land were transferred to neighboring Arab villages.
Sasson is troubled by municipal blueprints that have been lawfully approved. Well, Lehavot Haviva has a blueprint which was approved in 1980 - 31 years (!) after the kibbutz was formed. For 31 years, the kibbutz had been, according to Sasson philosophy, an illegal outpost. And yet, no one demanded it be removed.
...That used to be the procedure through which town and settlements were approved, and it was law. Compared to what went on in those years, the procedure for setting up the "outposts" is a temple of decorum and of justice. No one had been evicted from their homes for the formation of a Jewish settlement.
...The issue of the outposts is not a legal one, but a matter of foreign policy. Otherwise, the pledge to evacuate them would have been made to the president of the Supreme Court instead of the U.S. Secretary of State...