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Israel government asks Supreme Court to delay West Bank outpost evacuation

The Israeli government on Sunday requested that the Supreme Court of Israel [official website, in Hebrew] block the planned evacuation of the Migron settlement in the West Bank [JURIST news archive]. The court had earlier insisted upon an August 1 dispersal of the camp, but the government is hoping to delay that until August 30. The Israeli state is concerned that the dismantling of the camp during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan will exacerbate tensions [AP report] between West Bank settlers and the Israeli people.

West Bank settlements have caused tension between Israel and Palestinian authorities as well as criticism by international groups despite the Israeli parliament's vote [JURIST report] last month against legalizing the unauthorized settlement. Last month the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories Richard Falk demanded [JURIST report] Israel cease its demolition [press release] of Palestinian buildings in the West Bank settlements after finding that the demolition of Palestinian structures such as houses, animal shelters, water cisterns and roads have risen by 87 percent from last year. Israel responded to international investigations into these settlements by announcing [JURIST report] in March that it will sever ties to the UN Human Rights Council. The announcement came after the UN body initiated its investigation to determine the effect that Israeli settlements have had on the civil, political, economic and cultural rights of the Palestinian people. Even in March 2010, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official profile] called [JURIST report] Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank "illegal."

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