High Court Orders Halt to Development Work at Gush Emunim Settlement

The Supreme Court issued a temporary injunction today against further development work in the Nabi Salah area of the West Bank 20 miles north of Jerusalem, site of a Gush Emunim settlement reportedly slated for expansion. The court, acting on the complaints of Arab residents of the area, ordered Defense Minister Ezer Weizman and the military commander of the West Bank to cease all work immediately.

The court also ordered the removal of a fence erected along what was intended to become a paved road. It gave the Defense Ministry and the military government 40 days to show cause why the seizure of land in that area should not be invalidated.

A spokesman for the Attorney General’s office denied the claims of Arab residents that their land was being seized. He said that except in one case, the government had not confiscated cultivated private land. He said the exception was a parcel of land needed for the paved road which, according to the spokesman, was in the “public interest” as defined by the Jordanian laws that still apply on the West Bank. The Arabs’ attorneys said their clients protested the seizure of uncultivated lands which are used for grazing.

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