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Israeli Supreme Court rules settlers can stay in illegal outpost

Jerusalem24 – The Israeli Supreme Court reversed on Wednesday a decision made by the same Supreme Court two years ago ordering Israeli settlers to evacuate the Mitzpe Kramim illegal outpost near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

The ruling effectively greenlights the retroactive legalization of the outpost, which is illegal even under Israeli law.

Mitzpe Kramim was first built illegally in 2000 on privately-owned and registered Palestinian land in the village of Deir Jarir, northeast of Ramallah.

In 2018, the district court ruled in favor of settlers who filed a suit requesting the outpost be retroactively approved by the state.

The court recognized the settlers’ claim to the land, despite it being owned by Palestinians, using a military law known as “market regulations”.

What is the “market regulations” military law?

This obscure military law states that land purchased from Israel’s Commissioner of Government Property and Abandoned Lands in the West Bank can be recognized legally if at the time of the transaction the commissioner “believed the land to be government-owned.”

Source: Haaretz

The decision was appealed by Deir Jarir families and in 2020 the Supreme Court overturned the district court’s ruling. That ruling was then annulled last Wednesday.

Pro-Palestinian rights activists and organizations fear this will pave the way for new mass confiscations of Palestinian land.

Peace Now described the ruling as an “awful decision [that] will allow for the retroactive legalization of settler land seizures.”

Mitzpeh Kramim becomes the second illegal outpost to be effectively legalized in the past two weeks.

In addition to around 140 settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, illegal under international law, there are around 150 outposts in the West Bank which are considered illegal even under Israeli law.

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