Aug 15, 2007

Olmert is against having another disengagement

or is he?

As a result of the recent bankruptcy of a major construction company, Heftziba, many people who bought apartments in projects being built by Heftziba have moved into their partially built apartments as a form of squatting in an attempt to lay claim to their apartments and possibly have preference in the courts over other debtors.

Without discussing the whole Heftziba issue right now, I just want to get into one aspect of it.

The problem with these residents squatting is in many Heftziba projects, including Beitar Illit, Bet Shemesh, and Modiin Ilit. The Heftziba project of of Modiin Ilit has a unique problem though.

The project of Modiin Ilit is being built upon "disputed land". Peace Now petitioned the High Court to force Heftziba to stop building there becase, they claimed, the land being built upon is owned by Palestinians and the whole neighborhood is illegal.

After the bankruptcy broke and the squatters entered the apartments, the courts were asked to allow evacuation of the squatters. The courts decided there was no need to force an immediate evacuation and they preferred to wait it out and see how the bankruptcy proceeds. A decision will be made at a later time about the squatters, and about the squatters in all the various projects.

The State does not really want to get involved in evicting these squatters. On Monday the court ruled, due to a petition, that the State is allowed remove the squatters (of the Modiin Ilit project only). The State petitioned the court asking whether it is obligated to or whether they are allowed to.

It seems that State is against having another disengagement. They must have decided after Amona, Gush Katif, Homesh, Hebron's house, and others, that this is not the way to go.

Or is it only because the residents in question are haredim living in a haredi neighborhood that the State does not want to remove them from these houses built on Palestinian land? Because they don't want to start up with the Haredi parties that are much more organized and committed than the settler parties?



  1. I'm not sure the court ruled that the land was disputed.

    And while Peace Now claims that it is when they speak about it, I believe their case in court was that Hefziba didn't file all the forms properly, or didn't yet get all the permissions they needed, and the court initially rejected the claim that the ownership of the land was disputed.

  2. the court has not yet made a decision on the case, but they are treating the modiin ilit squatters differently than squatters in other projects.. because of the peace now petition...

  3. Nothing to do with chareidim being more organized. Chareidim have unmitigated power in Knesset, i.e., if you "piss off" the chareidim, you lose their support, but don't get anyone else's in return, except for especially emotionally-charged issues, such as army service. Therefore, you must do what they want.

    However, if you "piss-off" the settlers, you may lose their support, but you gain the support of an equally large anti-settler bloc.

  4. While I mostly agree with your post, this article by Obadiah Shoher presents the haredim in somewhat different light Shoher argues against haredim isolating themselves from other Jews instead of bringing the religion to masses.


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