Summary of Al Khan Al Ahmar High Court Hearing on April 25, 2018

Adv. Shlomo Lecker summarizes Al Khan al Ahmar High Court hearing of 25.4.18, which heard:

· Kfar Adumim, Nofei Prat and Alon settlers’ petition to demolish the local school

· A petition by the village against demolition and forced relocation

· A petition by parents of the pupils against demolition of the school and

· A request by 15 settlers from Kfar Adumim demanding a “peaceful solution“ to take the rights and voice of the Bedouin into consideration.

The panel of judges in the hearing reflects the current situation in the Israeli courts: the lead Judge was the well-known Noam Sohlberg, an ideological extreme right wing settler, and included a new nominee of Minister of Justice Shaked, Judge Yael Willner, an ideological settler in her past.
The panel stated that any solution would require relocation of the school and the community from its current location because of the impossibility of legalizing the structures or receiving building permits.  The school is located some 10 metres from a major highway.

The Bench asked the State’s lawyers whether the State would reconsider its plan to relocate the school and community to “Jabal West“ on the outskirts of Abu Dis/Azaria and propose a more suitable relocation plan. However, after recessing to consult with the Ministry of Defence, the answer was negative.

The Court’s decision will be rendered within a week.

In conclusion, the State regards the Al Khan al Ahmar case as a test case for the feasibility of relocating the Bedouin communities from E-1 Jerusalem periphery.  The Court will not rule against relocation as long as the State is offering some kind of an alternative, even if it is unsuitable and not accepted by the communities.  The Al Khan al Ahmar case requires diplomatic intervention in order to prevent demolitions and forced relocation. The time for intervention is limited.

—   Shlomo Lecker, lawyer for the Al Khan al Ahmar communities