Court to State: Raze West Bank Outposts Slated for Demolition in 2005

High Court lambastes state for delaying demolition of 2 illegal West Bank settlement outposts for 4 years.

The High Court ordered the state on Monday to carry out orders issued in 2005 for the demolition of two illegal settlement outposts in the West Bank, Haresha and Yuval.

In their ruling, Justices Dorit Beinish, Elyakim Rubinstein and Yoram Danziger lambasted the state for delaying the move and for contesting a petition to the High Court on the matter for over four years.

The Israeli NGO Peace Now submitted the 2005 petition demanding the evacuation of the outposts, in which a number of Israel Defense Forces officers reside, Army Radio reported.

The Haresha outpost, located west of Ramallah, consists of six unauthorized permanent structures. The Yuval outpost, southeast of Ariel, has 12 such structures.

In response to the Peace Now petition, the state had argued that it must focus its efforts on demolishing buildings in the initial stages of construction.

The High Court justices said in their ruling Monday that it was understandable that the state wants to conduct the required evacuations without the use of force and that the state had a preferred order for enforcement against unauthorized construction.

The justices added, "In these circumstances it is the state's responsibility, in accordance with its stance, to implement the orders or to at least set a decisive timeline for the implementation of part of the fundamental obligations for the execution of the law and its enforcement."

The ruling came after Defense Minister Ehud Barak told U.S. officials that Israel would evacuate 23 West Bank outposts within "weeks and months, not years."

But Obama administration officials are said to want Israel to go much further and eliminate many, if not all, of about 100 outposts scattered across the West Bank.