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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
04TELAVIV1391
2004-03-05 14:35:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Tel Aviv
Cable title:  

FAST-TRACK OUTPOST REMOVAL LESS THAN ADVERTISED

Tags:   PBTS  KPAL  KWBG  IS  SETTLEMENTS  ISRAELI  PALESTINIAN  AFFAIRS 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TEL AVIV 001391 

SIPDIS

NEA FOR BURNS/SATTERFIELD

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/05/2014
TAGS: PBTS KPAL KWBG IS SETTLEMENTS ISRAELI PALESTINIAN AFFAIRS
SUBJECT: FAST-TRACK OUTPOST REMOVAL LESS THAN ADVERTISED

REF: A. TEL AVIV 0028


B. TEL AVIV 0317

C. TEL AVIV 1019

D. 03 TEL AVIV 3253

E. 03 TEL AVIV 5697

F. 03 TEL AVIV 7358

Classified By: Ambassador Daniel C. Kurzter for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)
.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TEL AVIV 001391

SIPDIS

NEA FOR BURNS/SATTERFIELD

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/05/2014
TAGS: PBTS KPAL KWBG IS SETTLEMENTS ISRAELI PALESTINIAN AFFAIRS
SUBJECT: FAST-TRACK OUTPOST REMOVAL LESS THAN ADVERTISED

REF: A. TEL AVIV 0028


B. TEL AVIV 0317

C. TEL AVIV 1019

D. 03 TEL AVIV 3253

E. 03 TEL AVIV 5697

F. 03 TEL AVIV 7358

Classified By: Ambassador Daniel C. Kurzter for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)
.


1. (C) Summary and comment: The long-promised GOI removal
of outposts established after March 2001 suffered another
setback on March 4 when the Israeli High Court of Justice
postponed the evacuation of six illegal outposts in the West
Bank for an additional ten days. The court will hear the
settler's appeal arguing that the verdict gave the IDF too
much judicial authority. Anticipating this result, the IDF's
Advocate General's Office had told econoff on March 3 that
the settlers would appeal the High Court's decision the
following day and the IDF did not expect to be able to move
on the outposts anytime soon. The new political/security
grounds were intended to cut down the legal process to about
two weeks, but even this new process has now extended into
its third month. The practical effect of all of these legal
processes is that no outposts have been removed since
December. Meanwhile, they are growing in size, with the
assistance and funding of the GOI (reftel A). End summary
and comment.

--------------
Background
--------------


2. (C) Prime Minister Sharon decided in December 2003 to
abandon the practice of challenging the establishment of
illegal outposts on the grounds that they were established
outside of the proper zoning and building laws. The legal
wrangling over building and zoning permits was having the
effect of dragging out the process to a point that rendered
the GOI's efforts to remove outposts ineffective.
Accordingly, in December, the PM and the Minister of Defense
ordered the removal of several outposts based on security and
political reasons. At various times, we have been assured
that the streamlined procedure would take no more than 10-20
days, including all court appeals.

--------------
Outpost Removal Suffers Another Setback
--------------


3. (C) The High Court of Justice ruled on March 4, that the
IDF has the specific authority to remove the Hazon David
outpost near the settlement of Kiryat Arba and the Tal
Binyamin outpost near the settlement of Ofra. The ruling
also would have provided the legal basis for acting against
at least four other outposts that were ordered evacuated in
December 2003. (Note: The other four outposts are: Havat
Maon near the settlement of Maon; Bet Iyen West in Gush
Etzion; Ginot Aryeh near the settlement of Ofra; and Havat
Shaked near Yizhar. End note.) Immediately following the
High Court's ruling, however, the settlers filed an appeal
claiming that the ruling would give the government, in
general and the IDF specifically, sweeping judicial authority
that could have ramifications beyond outpost removal, to
include the evacuation of settlements. The High Court agreed
to consider the appeal and Supreme Court Justice Mishael
Chesin ordered the IDF to delay removal of these outposts for
ten days.


4. (C) The Head of the IDF's Advocate General's Corp
Infrastructure Section, Osnat Davidson, had told Embassy
econoff on March 3, that her office was expecting both a
favorable opinion for the government on the next day and an
appeal filing by the outpost petitioners. Davidson said she
was not optimistic about the possibility of the IDF resuming
outpost removals in the near future. Davidson agreed with
econoff's comment that the PM's "fast-track" approach
appeared to face as many legal hurdles as the old building
code approach (reftel F). Davidson agreed, saying that the
settlers could "drag this process out indefinitely."
Davidson insisted, on the other hand, that court precedents
set now could make future IDF action less litigious. For
example, Davidson said, the court rejected the settlers'
claim that their illegal construction activities are being
focused on in a discriminatory fashion. This will hopefully,
she said, not be an issue in future removals.

********************************************* ********************
Visit Embassy Tel Aviv's Classified Website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/telaviv

You can also access this site through the State Department's
Classified SIPRNET website.
********************************************* ********************
KURTZER