ACRI Statement on Mitzpe Kramim Ruling
The ruling issued today by the Supreme Court proves our claims: the outpost of Mitzpe Kramim, like other outposts and like many settlements in the West Bank, is the product of theft and expropriation. Whether these acts were undertaken by Israeli residents and later came under the auspices of state authorities approving this trespassing and theft, or whether the expropriation proceeding was deliberate from the outset, the result is the same and is unacceptable.
The Supreme Court accepted the arguments presented by Yesh Din and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, which requested to join the proceedings regarding Mitzpe Kramim as amicus curiae. The Court ruled that the actions of the Civil Administration and the authorities should first be examined from the perspective of the obligations incumbent on the occupying force toward the protected civilian population, and particularly toward its property. The Court rejected the claims of a “transaction,” and certainly rejected the artificial claims by the state concerning the “good faith” of the Israeli residents in the area.
The Court expressed broad criticism of the positions of the Civil Administration and the Attorney General, who did everything possible to deny legal and factual claims they themselves had raised earlier, all due to the improper political pressure to which they were subjected. The fact that the Attorney General and the other state authorities decided to renege on their function as gatekeepers and to seek to use any means and method possible to justify the seizure of land and the illegal construction of the outpost demands examination and public, institutional, and personal soul-searching on the part of those responsible for this conduct.
For further information (Hebrew)