JERUSALEM, May 6 (UPI) -- Israel's High Court of Justice criticized the government for asking that it overturn an order that illegal structures in a West Bank settlement be demolished.
"When the state claims it will do something, we do not imagine that it will not be done. There is respect between the branches," Justice Uzi Fogelman said at a court hearing Sunday.
Fogelman referred to a request by the government to reconsider a previous court ruling to evacuate families living in the Ulpana neighborhood in the West Bank settlement of Beit El, which was found to have been built on Palestinian land, the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz reported. The previous ruling had called for the demolition of the buildings in the neighborhood by May 1.
The court last month granted a 60-day extension to the demolition order after the government asked for extra time, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Fogelman warned Sunday such a move sets a bad precedent.
"There is a ruling … I don't understand this legal framework. It means that with every ruling, the state will come back and ask to open it," the Post quoted him as saying. Fogelman noted the government had previously agreed to evacuate the buildings.
Sunday's request was backed by Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and officials at the State Prosecutor's Office, Haaretz said.
Netanyahu ordered his aides in April to devise a legal solution to prevent the settlers' eviction. At the time, Haaretz said government ministers accused the Defense Ministry of turning the issue into a political tool at the expense of the settlers after it issued a statement supporting their eviction.
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