Israeli Supreme Court Rejects Settler Evacuation Delay

Sunday, 25 Mar 2012 11:00 AM

 

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JERUSALEM — The Israeli Supreme Court has rejected the state's agreement with settlers to delay their evacuation from an unsanctioned West Bank outpost until November 2015.

However, the court's ruling on Sunday did extend its earlier March evacuation deadline to Aug. 1.

Meanwhile, Israeli Cabinet ministers are in an over the U.N. Human Rights Council's plan to investigate the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, and some urged that the panel be banned from entering Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Israel's Security Cabinet, made up of senior ministers, was set to meet later Sunday to discuss the planned visit, an official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the meeting's agenda was classified.

Last week, the U.N. council voted to send a fact-finding team to investigate Israeli settlement construction in a resolution that also condemned such activity. It was one of five resolutions critical of Israel passed on the same day.

Israel accuses the council of having a pronounced anti-Israel bias because of its disproportionate focus on Israeli policy and actions toward the Palestinians, while it ignores human rights abuses in countries such as Iran and Arab nations.

"It's clear the Palestinians are preparing a Goldstone 2" report, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, who wants the council banned, told Israel Radio on Sunday.

Ayalon was referring to a U.N.-commissioned report by South African jurist Richard Goldstone about Israel's war in the Gaza Strip three years ago, aimed at stopping daily rocket attacks.

Its allegation that Israeli forces intentionally fired at Palestinian civilians triggered outrage in Israel and widespread condemnation of its wartime conduct. Goldstone later retracted that accusation.

The Israeli official said Cabinet ministers would also discuss how to respond to this week's planned marches toward Israel's borders announced by pro-Palestinian activists in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt. The plans have touched off jitters in Israel because last May, thousands of Arab protesters took Israel by surprise marching on its frontiers, sparking clashes that killed at least 15.

March 30 marks Land Day, a traditional day of protests by Arab-Israelis and Palestinians against the Israeli confiscation of Arab land.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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