On Monday, Supreme Court Justice Noam Solberg rejected Prime Minister Netanyahu’s request for an additional six-month continuance to submit a response in the Khan al Ahmar case – and treated the government to some particularly sharp criticism.

In the ruling published this evening, Justice Solberg wrote:

“The request to postpone this hearing is an embarrassment. The petition before us is the last link – thus far – in a chain of petitions regarding the evacuation of the “Khan al Ahmar” compound.”

Solberg’s decision goes on to recount the legal saga that began in 2009, with six separate petitions submitted by the Regavim Movement, and notes that even after the High Court of Justice’s decision, “two years later – there is nothing new under the sun. Despite the fact that the state’s representatives have argued before this Court in the past that the execution of judgements in this case are a pressing, even urgent, matter, and despite the fact that this Court has allowed the state latitude, time and time again, in carrying out its decisions, nothing has changed: What was is what will be, and what has been done continues to be done.”

“Now, as the appointed time for the hearing of a petition filed in June 2019 is upon us – a petition which raised serious claims regarding the state’s failure to fulfill its duty, the state’s representatives are asking to postpone the hearing – which was scheduled at state’s request, just as time and time again in the past the hearing of this petition was postponed at the state’s request. This time, the state has asked to postpone the hearing until the end of the first quarter of 2021; this is a request we cannot honor,” adds Justice Solberg.

“The state maintains its prerogative to exercise its own judgement regarding priorities and policy formulation; precisely for this reason it must honor its own pronouncements and enable others to take these pronouncements seriously, and not render them null or vacant promises.”

Solberg rejects Netanyahu’s request for a six month continuance, explaining that “under the circumstances, and given the current time constraints” the hearing will take place in two months. The state is required to file its response to the petition by the 1st of November.

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