Israel Demolishes Three Illegal Houses in West Bank Outpost, Six Arrested

Demolition takes place after Supreme Court reverses 12-hour delay; the buildings were ordered to be destroyed by the Court earlier this year, following petition issued by a Israeli human rights organization.

A force of approximately one thousand police officers demolished three buildings early Monday morning in the West Bank settlement outpost Migron, 14 kilometers north of Jerusalem.

Around 200 settlers assembled and tried to make their way to the structures, hoping to stop the bulldozers in their tracks. Six youths were arrested.

Migron - Emil Salman - 05092011
Emil Salman

The incident began an hour past midnight, when the police officers began emptying the buildings of their contents. While this was taking place, Regavim, a settlers' advocacy group, petitioned the Supreme Court, asking for a court injunction stopping the demolition. Justice Neil Hendel, who heard the petition, granted the advocacy group a 12-hour delay, halting the demolition.

The respite turned out to be short-lived, as a few hours later, the Supreme Court issued another order which sanctioned the demolition, and rendering the previous injunction void.

The three buildings, built this year, were ordered to be destroyed by the Supreme Court, following a petition issued by Yesh Din, an Israeli human rights group. The state initially said it would comply with the court ruling by mid-July, and later postponed the demolition to an unspecified date during September.

Danny Dayan, the chairman of the Yesha Council of West Bank settlements, who arrived at the scene, said the decision to demolish the houses was made by the government not the court, thus the responsibility for this futile action lay with the government. It is still not too late for the Prime Minister to reverse the decision.