Friday, March 23, 2007

Well, Well, Will the State Have to Own Up and Pay Up?

Seems a new track is being taken in the legal battle to live in Yesha.

Yesterday, the Hebron community launched a libel charge against Peace Now and this developed is reported on:-

The residents of Hersha, a settlement outpost in the West Bank, has asked the High Court of Justice to order the state to compensate them if they are evicted from their homes. Construction there has received state aid for the past 10 years. The settlers, represented by attorney Yaakov Weinrot, presented an alternative to the demolition: the legalization of the settlement and the granting of building permits.

...Hersha residents presented evidence that the state aided their outpost from 1995 until 2004. "The State of Israel has taken an active role in establishing the outpost through an array of branches and authorities," they wrote. "The families and the settlement as a whole have taken this into account when planning their actions."

The settlers said that in 1999, the Housing Ministry transferred NIS 600,000 for infrastructure construction. An additional NIS 500,000 was transferred in 2001 for the construction of a community center and a day-care center. Another NIS 650,000 was transferred in 2002. Moreover, in 2004, the Housing Ministry prepared a zoning plan for the community that included schools, and the state has even built a meteorological survey station on the premises.

...They maintain the state has only recently changed its tone, leaning toward demolishing the settlement "now that times have changed." They also maintain that demolishing the settlement, in light of the government's past support, would be illegal and unreasonable.

And this, too:-

Peace Now's settlement monitoring coordinator, Dror Etkes, told Haaretz that the settlers' compensation claims were justified. "If their homes are demolished, the state should indeed compensate them for its two-faced approach," Etkes explained.

Will it be too expensive for the state to destroy?

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