The heads of the Palestinian village councils of Turmusaya, Al Mughayer, Qaryut, and Jalud, together with the human rights organization Yesh Din, submitted today (International Human Rights Day) a petition to the Supreme Court demanding the eviction of the unauthorized outpost of Adei Ad. For the first time, the petition will argue that the outpost should be removed not only because it is constructed in part on private Palestinian land, but also because it constitutes a focus of criminal activities and grave violence against the Palestinian residents of the area with the goal of usurping their land and displacing its owners. The petition is based mainly on The Road to Dispossession, a report published by Yesh Din in 2013. According to initial reports, a large group of Israeli civilians went down last night from the outpost of Adei Ad to Al Mughayer, where they threw stones at the houses and the end of the village, as well as cars. One car was damaged. Later on, the Israeli civilians damaged trees in the land between Al Mughayer and Turmusaya.
The report found that the unauthorized outpost of Adei was established with the assistance of state authorities, despite the fact that the process was unlawful and demolition orders have been issued against all the buildings in the outpost (though they have not been implemented). The report established that the outpost serves as the nucleus for systemic lawlessness. Since its establishment, Israeli civilians in and around Adei Ad have committed and continue to commit dozens of criminal and administrative offenses.
The report and the subsequent petition reveal a direct connection between Israel’s failure to enforce the law and to protect Palestinians and their property and the expansion of the outpost and the areas under its control, while dispossessing Palestinians of their land. The petition notes: “The illegality of the outpost and its buildings does not merely violate the principle of the rule of law and the principle of proper action by governmental authorities. The very existence of the outpost, and the need to provide protection for its residents, inevitably causes unbearably grave damage to the petitioners’ fabric of life and their ability to realize their inherent and basic rights. As a direct consequence thereof, the presence of the outpost in the area invites friction, manifestations of violence, the vandalization of property, and creeping expropriation of additional land, since the petitioners are not on the ground to supervise and guard their private property.”
The petition demands that the state meet its obligations and address the lawlessness in the area by evicting the source of these violations and by ensuring the restitution of public order and the individual security of the local residents. The petition, submitted by Attorneys Shlomo Zacharia, Michael Sfard, and Muhammad Shakir of Yesh Din’s legal team, notes:
“There is and can be no doubt that as long as the outpost of Adei Ad remains intact, the violation of the petitioners’ rights will be exacerbated. Since all the respondents have reneged on their legal (and moral) responsibilities and refuse to enforce the law in the area; since they indeed actively supported, funded, and provided protection for the lawbreakers who have seized the area of the outpost since the respondents have refrained from acting to protect the petitioners’ rights and to reduce the enormous damage they incur with every passing day while the outpost remains intact; for all these reasons – the petitioners have been forced to turn to the honorable Court, for want of any other alternative, and recognizing that without its intervention, the area will continue to be a wild zone bereft of even minimal law enforcement. This situation wreaks a cost every day and every hour, while no-one speaks out and no firm hand is interested, or even pretends to be interested, in enforcing the law.”