High Court Gives State Thirty Days to Answer Land Petitions

YERUSHALAYIM -

Israel’s High Court responded on Wednesday to petitions submitted challenging the constitutionality of the new Regulation Law, giving the state thirty days to defend the law, The Times of Israel reported.

Two Israeli legal aid organizations, Adalah and the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center, filed the petition along with 17 Palestinian municipalities.

While the state is fully expected to answer the petitions in court, the natural choice to lead the defense, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, has already said that he will not do so. On the contrary, it was reported on Wednesday that Mr. Mandelblit is considering testifying against the law. If so, it would be unprecedented. Other attorneys general have in the past threatened to testify against the state but none ever have.

Mr. Mandelblit has consistently argued that the new law, which retroactively legalizes outpost communities in Yehudah and Shomron, would contravene protections granted to the Palestinians in the region under the Fourth Geneva Convention. He also said that the Israeli High Court would strike it down, and that he could not defend it there.