HCJ 10078/09 Silwad Village Mayor v Commander of IDF Forces in West Bank; HCJ 7034/10 Oni Hassan Muhammad Shaib v Commander of IDF Forces in West Bank

Petition Submission Date: first petition – 16.12.2009 and second petition – 3.10.10

The settlement of Ofra, which is of unclear legal status and has been defined in the past as “the largest unauthorized outpost in the West Bank” is located near the Palestinian villages Silwad and Ein Yabrud. Even prior to the second intifada, violent confrontations took place there between Palestinian residents and Israeli settlers. When the second intifada began, fences and other obstacles were built to prevent the Palestinian residents of the villages from reaching their land. In the petition to the High Court of Justice (HCJ), the petitioners asked the Court to instruct the State to remove the fences and position forces tasked with securing the petitioner’s access to his land.

In April 2010, the State notified the court it had begun staff work on mapping the area in order to clarify the issue of the illegal fence, and claimed that the Palestinian residents are entitled to reach their lands as long as they coordinate such access with the Israeli army. In January 2011 the State Attorney notified the Court that “several irregularities were indeed detected in Ofra,” and that the issue was transferred to the army, which is organizing “alternative security solutions to the illegal fencing.”

Later that year, the State announced its intention to build a fence close to the settlement of Ofra, thus minimizing violation of the petitioner’s rights. As a result, in November 2011, two years after the petition was filed, the High Court dismissed the petition. Most of the fences were removed.

Petition Status: The petition was dismissed