Outrage at Court Order to Tear Down Mitzpeh Kramim

YERUSHALAYIM -
A general view of homes in Mitzpeh Kramim, an outpost community in the Shomron. (Reuters/Ronen Zvulun/File Photo)

Israel’s High Court on Thursday issued an order for the dismantling and evacuation of the community of Mitzpeh Kramim in the Shomron, within three years.

The community is located near Kochav Hashahar and was established in 1999. In 2011, a village in the area claimed ownership of the land on which Mitzpeh Kramim stands, demanding that the families there be removed, Arutz Sheva reported.

The news provoked an immediate angry outcry from the right wing. MK Nir Barkat (Likud) accused the court of practicing a double standard:

“How is it that the Court prevents the demolition of illegally built Arab homes in east Yerushalayim, whereas it orders the demolition of Jewish homes and communities in east Binyamin?” he said. “This is just one more unfortunate decision that shows how important it is for us to pass the Override Clause.”

The Override Clause, which has been under debate for a number of years, would empower the Knesset to overrule High Court rulings, under certain circumstances.

Former Jewish Home MK Moti Yogev took the rhetoric further, saying “have placed themselves on the side of the enemies of the people and the state” by ruling that the homes in an illegal outpost must be demolished, while the home of a Palestinian terrorist must not be.

Similarly, Yamina MK Matan Kahana: “the High Court has become the defender of terrorists’ homes and the destroyer of Jewish homes. The High Court is disconnected, it has lost touch with reality,” he said, adding a psychological dimension.

Charges of a double standard referred to, among other things, a recent High Court ruling that prevented the IDF from razing the home of Nazmi Abu Bakr, who is accused of killing 21-year-old Sgt. First Class Amit Ben-Ygal Hy”d by throwing a brick at him from a rooftop, during an operation in the Palestinian village of Yabed in May.

In a 2-1 decision, the Court allowed only the sealing of one bedroom, but not destroying the whole house, as Abu Bakr’s wife and eight children, who were not involved in the attack, still live there.

The decision was condemned by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, and others.

Netanyahu called the ruling “a sad decision by the High Court.”

“I demand to hold an additional hearing with an expanded panel [of judges],” Netanyahu said. “My policy as prime minister is to destroy the homes of terrorists, and I intend to continue with it.”