Current and former members of Israel's legal and court system slammed a proposal by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked to establish a special court to deal with housing disputes in Judea and Samaria, as opposed to giving the High Court sole jurisdiction over the matter. Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein said Thursday thar the idea had no chance of becoming law. According to a report in Yediot Achronot, Weinstein has discussed the matter with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and is of the opinion that such a court would never be accepted in the international community.
Shaked has been known to long support the idea. In the wake of the demolition of the Draynoff Houses in Beit El, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said that time stablish a special court to deal with housing disputes in Judea and Samaria, as opposed to giving the High Court sole jurisdiction over the matter.
“The system is broken,” Shaked said on Thursday. “The High Court does not accept evidence and arguments in these cases. Two lawyers for leftist group Yesh Din are able to set the agenda for the High Court, and turn it into a leftist agenda.”
With that, Shaked added, she had great respect for the Court, and that many of its decisions were “groundbreaking” in a very positive way. Nevertheless, she said, the High Court, which rules on matters of state, civil rights, constitutionality, and other matters is no place for petty disputes about whose deed of sale or contract was the more accurate one. “In Ra'anana, they send cases like these to the local civil court, not the High Court,” said Shaked. “Judea and Samaria should not be any different.”
Speaking on Israel Radio, former Justice Ministr Tzippy Livni said that the idea was a bad one for Israel. “This will be a tool to be used by the BDS supporters,” Livni said. “The 'evidence' used in this court will be automatically transferred to the International Criminal Court in the Hague as evidence of Israeli land theft. This will remove from Israel one of its few advantages on the international fron, the sense that it abides by international law.”
Analysts said that the High Court would be reluctant to give up its status as the “court of last resort” in matters such as land disputes between Israelis and Palestinians. Shaked's proposal seeks to relieve the High Court of the burden, and allowing judges to focus on the specifics of cases, instead of the “greater issues” and matters of state, such as the extent to which Israel should allow Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria, she said.
“Such cases must be heard in terms of their specifics, with witnesses and evidence relating specifically to the issue of rights and ownership,” Shaked said. “We will work to set up such a court system.” According to Shaked, the idea was not actually her own, but that of former High Court Justice Edmond Levy, who had written about the matter years ago.