Judges jeopardize Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine negotiations

AuthorDavid Singer
Published date24 February 2023
Publication titleIsrael National News (Israel)
A clearly-frustrated Justice Sohlberg delivered the Court's judgement on 7 February – Justices Baron and Willner concurring

"... the existing situation is comfortable for it [the Israeli Government]: Once every few months it files a request for an extension, which the petitioner opposes and the court accedes to through gritted teeth, and the world carries on as normal; deciding not to decide. This mode of operation, which is perhaps possible in some circumstances outside of the court's walls, is not acceptable to us, and certainly not for such a lengthy period of time."

Sohlberg said the court understood that the government had only just taken office - but the Court surprisingly refused Netanyahu's request for a four-month extension:

"when experience teaches us that one postponement leads to another and there is never a substantive answer."

Eight adjournments had already been granted to earlier Israeli Governments grappling with achieving the peaceful outcomes expressed in the Court's interim decision on 24 May 2018:

"We have come to the conclusion of this judgment. Our decision therein follows the letter of the law, according to which there is no legal cause to intervene in the decision of the minister of defense to execute the demolition orders issued for the illegal structures in Khan al-Ahmar.

The law does not ignore the human complexities naturally involved in a large-scale removal of illegal structures, despite their illegality. Law enforcement is important, as is the desire to enter discussions and reach a solution peacefully. The voices calling for discussions and a consensual solution were well heard in the proceedings in these petitions. The Court, too, asked to see whether there still remained a concrete proposal that could serve as a basis for such renewed discussions, despite the late stage in the process. On the other hand, the law is not subordinate to this desire.

At the end of the day, we are past the eleventh hour. As recalled, the first demolition orders were issued back in 2009. As worthy as the...

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