HaMoked in an application under the Contempt of Court Ordinance in its petition regarding the separation wall route near the villages of 'Azzun and An Nabi Elyas: In the judgment issued over two years ago, the route in this area, appropriating hundreds of acres of farmland, was declared illegal. The HCJ ordered the State to pay legal costs in the sum of NIS 50,000 המוקד להגנת הפרט
08.10.2008
HaMoked in an application under the Contempt of Court Ordinance in its petition regarding the separation wall route near the villages of 'Azzun and An Nabi Elyas: In the judgment issued over two years ago, the route in this area, appropriating hundreds of acres of farmland, was declared illegal. The HCJ ordered the State to pay legal costs in the sum of NIS 50,000
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On 20 March 2005, HaMoked petitioned the High Court of Justice (HCJ) against the segment of the separation wall near the villages of 'Azzun and An Nabi Elyas. In its petition, HaMoked claimed that the route in that area did not serve any security purpose and was designed to allow future expansion of the settlement of Zufin eastward. As a result of the construction of the wall, hundreds of acres of farmland belonging to the residents of the two villages were appropriated.  The villagers' livelihood was severely damaged as a result of the difficulties in getting to the lands and tending to them. In its response, the State admitted that the wall's route did not run adjacent to the nearby settlement of Zufin, but followed its master plan under which the annexed area was designated to become the settlement's industrial zone. Despite this, the State insisted that the route must not be changed due to the high costs involved.

Following a hearing in the petition, at the end of which the Court issued an Order Nisi, the State notified that it had decided to change the segment of wall which was the subject matter of the petition and acceded that were the route planned anew its southeastern section would have been planned differently - without taking into consideration Zufin's master plan. The State also notified that in the interim period between building the new wall and dismantling the current eastern section of it, the existing agricultural gates would remain open to allow free movement of the Palestinian residents. In light of the State's position, the HCJ accepted the petition on 15 June 2006 and ruled that the eastern section of the wall's route was unlawful and therefore null and void. At the request of the State, the Court suspended its ruling on nullification. The ruling was to come into effect six months following completion of the wall in its new route. 

Over two years have passed since the HCJ's ruling, and the judgment lies, discarded, in the State Attorney's office. The State, which had attempted to mislead the Court by declaring untruths regarding the purpose and security needs behind the wall's existing route continues to belittle the significance and extent of the harm done to the residents of 'Azzun and An Nabi Elyas. HaMoked stresses that the State is taking incomprehensible license in interpreting the period of time required for dismantling the illegal route. The protracted planning and implementation of the new route defy the conditions set out by the Court which stated that this period of time must be "as short as possible".  

As HaMoked wrote in its application this is a "decision which is in contempt of the honorable Court's decision, ostensibly based on the faith that its justices would not again come to the aid of the of the farmers of 'Azzun and An Nabi Elyas and order their lands be returned to them."

HaMoked requests the Court issue an order under the Contempt of Court Ordinance compelling the Respondents to implement the Order Absolute already issued on this matter on 4 September 2007. The Court has ruled in the past that "Non fulfillment of a court judgment by a citizen is a severe manifestation of breach of the rule of law. Non fulfillment of a judgment by a state authority is doubly severe. […] Abstinence by a state authority to obey a court ruling is one of the gravest and most troubling dangers for the rule of law in a democratic state.

To view the application under the Contempt of Court Ordinance dated 28 September 2008 (in Hebrew)

To view the judgment dated 15 June 2006 (in Hebrew)

To view the petition dated 20 March 2005 (in Hebrew)

To view the State’s response dated 30 June 2005 (in Hebrew)

To view the Petitioners’ statement dated 25 September 2005 (in Hebrew)

To view the State’s response dated 19 February 2006 (in Hebrew)

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