In a controversial decision by the Israeli High Court, the Jewish settlement of Mitzpe Kramim, located East of the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the West Bank, was ordered to be torn down as the court argued the outpost was not built in “good faith” under the “market regulation” policy that has been used to bestow authority to Jewish settlements in Palestinian territory.
Around three dozen buildings consisting of 4 permanent and 30 mobile homes and several community buildings have been ordered to be demolished.
Despite the order to raze Mitzpe Kramim, the court gave authority to the “market regulation” policy which could in effect grant legality to over 2000 homes in the West Bank.
Originally granted permission to establish the settlement by an Israeli Defense Minister, the high court argued that the official “closed his eyes to avoid seeing the many warning signs brought to his attention over the years, including the fact that the outpost was established on private Palestinian land,” reported The Times of Israel.
Established in 1999, Mitzpe Kramim was entrenched adjacent to the Kokhav HaShahar settlement, the land being allotted to the settlers by the semi-state-controlled Settlement Division, a branch of the World Zionist organization.
Be that as it may, the Israeli Civil Defense Administration (the body responsible for authorizing Israeli West Bank Construction) soon after declared the government did not have authority and rights over the the land that the Settlement Division provided.
The issue of the legality of the Israeli Settlement on the private Palestinian land came to a forefront in 2011 when a band of Palestinians from the nearby town of Deir Jarir brought a petition to the High Court claiming ownership of the land and to have the around 40 Jewish families removed and resettled.
Although due to the Defense Minister’s initial green-lighting of the Israeli outpost, the residents of Mitzpe Kramim submitted their own petition to counter the Deir Jarir request after their original settlement had been deemed illegal.
Seen as a blow to the Jewish settler movement with their end goal being West Bank Annexation by Israel, the campaign has been drawn to a halt as Israel works to strengthen ties with the United Arab Emirates which considers any notion of West Bank Annexation as a complete halt in bilateral relations.
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