On February 16th, 2014 the Israeli High Court of Justice (“the HCJ”) issued a ruling on HCJ 1315/12 Chushia et. al. v. Minister of Defense et. al., dismissing the petition.
The HCJ accepted the state’s position that it can and will take legal action in accordance with the Property Order (Disruptive Use of Private Property)(Judea & Samaria)(number 1586), 2007 (Hereinafter: “the Disruptive Use Order”), in certain areas and not in others.
The thrust of the petition was that access to the petitioner’s agricultural land, near Susia, was being illegally denied by intruders and requested that the area’s military commander take administrative action to remove them.
Prior to the petition, letters sent by the petitioners and other reports, initiated a study by the Civil Administration and the Judea Brigade, analyzing the ownership of various plots around Susia.
During the study, aerial footage was analyzed which showed that a vineyard was planted in part of the area not before 2008. Since the Disruptive Use Order allows administrative proceedings against new disturbances or significant changes of less than 5 years, an order was issued which is pending in the Military Appeals Committee (Appeal 67/13).
However, regarding other properties, evidence showed use dating over 5 years. In turn, the state opined that it does not have the authority to use the administrative Disruptive Use Order, rather the petitioners recourse is a civil suit or registry request regarding the remaining properties.
The HCJ accepted the states position while reemphasizing past precedents regarding the practical aspects of addressing property conflicts in Judea & Samaria (HCJ 5439/09 Abd-Al-Kader v. The Military Appeals Committee Established By the Order Regarding the Appeals Committee in Camp Ofer).
The HCJ reemphasized the importance of the Disruptive Use Order, to carrying out the area’s military commander’s duty, to maintain order in the area and protect the property of protected persons.
Additionally, the HCJ reemphasized that the goal of article 318 of the Security Directives Order [Consolidated Version] (Judea & Samaria) (number 1651), 2009, allowing the area’s military commander to declare an area a restricted military zone, is the protection of order and security of the Israeli and Palestinian residents of the area. Meaning, article 318 should be used for security and maintenance of order and not as a bypass of the Disruptive Use Order, as requested by the petitioners.