The Israeli information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (B’Tselem) and the Yesh Din Israeli group in addition to five Palestinian landowners filed on Wednesday a petition to the Israeli High Court of Justice demanding it to halt the construction of nine settler homes being illegally built on lands which belong to Palestinian residents of a village east of the central West Bank city of Ramallah.
The groups stated that the settlers are currently constructing nine houses on lands owned by the residents of Ein Yabroud village. The land was illegally annexed and became part of the illegal settlement.
The groups also demanded the court to prohibit the settlers from moving into these houses.
In the petition, filed against the Minister of Justice and the O.C. Central Command, the petitioners request that the authorities be instructed to uphold demolition orders issued on the houses in the past and to issue an interim order that will prohibit dwellers from moving into the houses and prevent the houses from being connected to electricity, water and sewage until a ruling issues on the matter, the B’Tselem reported on its website.
B’Tselem added that the settlers are currently building nine structures in Ofra settlement, east of Ramallah, and that the structures are still not occupied and are being constructed on lands which belong to five Palestinians.
B’Tselem added that the Israeli Authorities informed the petitioners that orders to cease the constructions and to demolish the structure had been issued nearly 6 months ago, but the construction resumed and no actions were taken to stop it.
The petition filed by the two groups and the residents states that “In every instance that illegal construction by Jews is carried out in the West Bank on stolen private Palestinian land, as in this one, the law enforcement arm of the authorities is not felt at all”, B’Tselem said.
B’Tselem conducted extensive research in recent months and collected documents which prove the Palestinian ownership of the land and prove that most of the settlement of Ofra was built on private lands owned by the Palestinians.
Also, the so-called Civil Administration Office, which is under military control in the occupied West Bank, confirmed that “Ofra settlements has no jurisdictional area and no detailed outline plans from which it can approve any sort of constructions in the settlement, B’Tselem added.
The petition states that Ofra settlement is the biggest illegal settlement outpost in the West Bank.
In its website, B’Tselem stated that the petition was filed as part of the joint efforts of the two organizations, as B'Tselem is overseeing the research aspects of the case and Yesh Din organization is overseeing the use of legal channels.