by the ISM media team, January 8th
Over four months ago the construction company responsible for the illegal Israeli settlement of Matityahu East started carrying out an earlier High Court Order which ruled that the company restore part of the land to its pre-colonial state. Two structures were demolished and part of an access road to the illegal settlement was dug up in this ‘enclave’. All expansion plans for the settlement have been frozen until the court rules on the status of this access road. Yesterday’s hearing was part of a motion filed by the ‘Peace Now’ movement.
In their attempt to legalize retrospectively the construction of the settlement, which is illegal even according to Israeli law, settler and company lawyers argued for the lifting of the Stop Work order and the restoration of the access road. The lawyers argued that settlers had experienced great difficulties due to the lack of an access road and that on one occasion a fire engine had been unable to reach the colony to rescue someone trapped in a lift.
The ‘Peace Now’ lawyer, Michael Sfard, pointed out the past criminal activity of the construction company in not acting according to Israeli law, and that the access road isn’t even part of the revised expansion plans for the settlement. Despite this public exposure, the construction company and settlers expect to continue pursuing their own expansion plans without regard for Israeli law. A ruling is to be given later.