By Aviad Glickman, YNet News – 13 Aug 2009
Yesh Din, Palestinian village council head file petition to High Court of Justice demanding interim order against construction in nearby settlement on what they say is private Palestinian land be halted immediately
A petition was filed to the High Court of justice demanding it order illegal construction on Palestinian land near the settlement of Kochav Yakov be halted.Ali Barakat, council head of the Palestinian village of Kfar Akab, filed the petition with the assistance of the Yesh Din human rights organization on Thursday.
The Palestinians claim the work taking place includes the construction of 12 new houses and the preparation of land intended for the construction of a similar number of houses.
On Wednesday, following information given by the Peace Now organization, the Civil Administration, which is subordinate to the Defense Ministry, deemed the construction in question as illegal, and said that the matter was beginning to be enforced.
In the petition, filed against Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Central Command chief Gadi Shamni, the petitioners requested an interim order be issued ordering the to take “any act necessary to prevent the population of those houses and to prevent any acts of construction in the area”.
According to the petitioners, all construction, which started some two weeks ago, is taking place on the private lands of Palestinian residents of Kfar Akab, that up until recently were unaware of the broad construction activity, for which they have not given their consent.
“From past experience, when a petition like this one is submitted, illegal construction is accelerated and there is a rush to inhabit the structures so as to thwart the possibility that an interim order from this respected court could take effect,” the petition states.
Therefore, the petitioners asked the High Court to order all construction cease immediately.
The petition also claimed that a week ago, Yesh Din reported the construction to the Attorney General’s Office but nothing was done in the matter.
Dror Etkes, Director of Yesh Din’s Lands Project said, “Despite the fact that the Civil Administration admits that the construction is illegally carried out on private land, nothing has been done. The IDF and police force are indifferent to the land-grabbing and looting that are occurring before their eyes.”
Benjamin Council head, Avi Roeh, said on Wednesday that “the caravans were placed with permission and authority within the borders of the community”, but refused to give further details.