HCJ 5583/11 Tamimi V IDF forces commander in the West Bank

At the end of 2009, youth from the Neve Tzuf settlement began taking over a small spring called El Kis, near the Palestinian village Deir Nidham, located north of Ramallah. At the start of 2010, the spring became a point of regular confrontations between Palestinian residents of the village and Israeli citizens. The IDF proceeded to prohibit Palestinians from accessing the spring and their adjacent plots, claiming that the area had been declared an archaeological site.

This claim turned out to be false, and led to a 2010 petition to the HCJ filed by the residents of Deir Nidham, demanding to remove the illegal construction and allow them access to their land. The construction work was designed to transform the place into a leisure and recreation site for the residents of the settlement of Neve Tzuf. They built a shed, paved paths leading to the spring, built steps, planted trees and installed tables. The State’s response to the petition was that the area was declared an archaeological site several days prior to the petition. Nonetheless, stop work orders were issued due to the damage done to antiquities.

However, after it became clear that construction was not halted, a resident of the village petitioned the HCJ with the help of Yesh Din to demand the court order the demolition of illegal construction on his land. The petition stated, “again, like in every case of Israeli illegal construction in the West Bank, conducted while stealing private land owned by Palestinians […] Israeli law enforcement authorities do nothing and it is apparent that the respondents are completely indifferent to the construction offenses and infringement of the property rights of residents of the occupied territory.”

Petition Status: The petition was dismissed as a result of the demolition of the structures.