Israeli Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned an appeal from an Israeli contractor, to receive a building license for 24 settlement units and prevent their demolition. The court order said that the illegal structures in Bet El settlement east Ramallah must be taken down by July 30 .
“A person who builds on private Palestinian property does so at his own risk,” Deputy Supreme Court President Elyakim Rubenstein wrote in the legal ruling.
The land is the property of a Palestinian named Abdul-Rahman Qassem, and was seized by Israeli authorities for “military purposes”.
Following the seizure, construction began on the settlement units, despite Qassem’s demand that these units be demolished and the land returned.
In September 2014, the court ruled that the 24 units be razed before a deadline of six months. In February this year, the Israeli contractor in charge of the project appealed against the decision.
Previously, the state had told the court that it would take down the homes by April 2012, but changed its stance, agreeing to push the legalization of the property as part of a deal it made with the Beit El settlement to secure the voluntary evacuation of the Ulpana outpost in the summer of 2012.
Little happened, however, to legalize the property until February of this year, when an IDF subcommittee gave its initial approval for a master plan that covers the section of Beit El where the two apartment buildings are located.