JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s top court order blocked the government’s deferral of the demolition of an illegal West Bank settlement.
Citing the need to maintain the rule of law, the High Court of Justice ruled Sunday against an attempt by the government to postpone to 2015 the demolition of Migron, a settlement that the Palestinians say is built on their land.
After repeated deferrals dating back to 2006, the demolition was scheduled to take place at the end of the month. But the court gave the state until August to arrange an orderly transfer of Migron’s approximately 50 families.
High Court President Asher Dan Grunis said the ruling honored "the rule of law to which all are subject as part of Israel’s values as a Jewish and democratic state."
The settlers, who deny that Migron is built on private Palestinian land, had signed a deal with the Netanyahu government this month agreeing to relocate to a nearby hill over the next three years.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in response to Sunday’s ruling, "The government of Israel, like all citizens of Israel, respect the court’s decisions and will act in accordance with the laws of Israel."