In response to the High Court ruling that houses built on private land in the illegal outpost of Mitzpeh Karmim must be evacuated, Peace Now delivered the following response:
“This is an important ruling that reinforces the unequivocal ruling striking down the Expropriation Law in June. It confirms that there was no good faith on the part of the settlers in Mitzpe Kramim, but rather they stole private Palestinian land while attempting to pass the act off as innocent negligence. Now the land must be vacated and returned to its owners.
When settlers take over private lands, or when the Civil Administration confiscates land in the name of ‘security needs’ and then transfers it to settlers, it is not a legitimate deal but rather a clear dispossession and robbery. The settlement enterprise’s plunder of Palestinian land, which is an obstacle to any future peace agreement, was defeated today and we will continue to fight the ‘good faith market regulation’ alibi to ensure it will never succeed.”
The High Court ruling was the culmination of a nine-year effort by Palestinian landowners, who initially were defeated in the Magistrates’ Court before appealing to the High Court.
Peace Now had joined the court case in 2019 as a Friend of the Court (amicus curiae) to offer its expertise on settlements. Among other things, it provided evidence against the claim that the relevant settlement bodies had settled the land in good faith, and against the applicability of the market regulation.