Ulpana is a Jewish outpost built on private Palestinian land
The illegal Ulpana outpost, adjacent to the Beit El Jewish settlement near the Palestinian West Bank city of Ramallah. The Israeli government on Friday filed an 11th-hour petition to the country's High Court asking it to extend the deadline for demolition of a settlement outpost due to be razed next week. © Gali Tibbon - AFP/File
Ulpana is a Jewish outpost built on private Palestinian land
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AFP
Last updated: April 27, 2012

Israel asks court to delay outpost demolition

The Israeli government on Friday filed an 11th-hour petition to the country's High Court asking it to extend the deadline for demolition of a settlement outpost due to be razed next week.

Documents filed to the court and obtained by AFP asked justices to allow officials a further 90 days "to present their revised position" on a demolition order against the outpost of Ulpana, built on private Palestinian land near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

No date was announced for a court decision about the demolition, which was due to happen on Tuesday next week.

Among arguments for leaving Ulpana and its 50 residents were that the place is a neighbourhood of nearby Beit El settlement, which is authorised by the government, rather than a separate entity.

While Israel differentiates between "legal" and "illegal" settlements, international humanitarian law views all settlement on occupied territory as forbidden.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition government leans heavily for support on the settlers and their supporters on the nationalist right.

On Tuesday, it retroactively legalised three outposts, a move the Palestinians said was a dismissive response to a letter from their president Mahmud Abbas calling for a settlement freeze and which Washington called a source of concern.

Under terms of a High Court ruling last August, the government was required to address the legal status of some 16 outposts.

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