Dome of the Supreme Court of Israel.
Israel-Palestine: Publication

Eviction of Palestinian communities in Masafer Yatta: A failed account of international law

13 May 2022

On 4 May 2022, the Supreme Court of Israel sitting in its capacity as High Court of Justice (“the Court”) issued a decision permitting the Israeli army to evict Palestinian communities in Masafer Yatta. Masafer Yatta is located in the South Hebron Hills in Area C of the West Bank, over which Israel retains full civil and security control. The area was declared by the military commander of the West Bank as a “closed military zone”, more specifically a “firing zone” (Firing Zone 918) in 1980. Over 1000 people reside in eight villages in the Masafer Yatta area, and these communities have faced the threat of home demolitions, evictions, and dispossession for over twenty years. In its decision, the Court rejected the petition against the eviction orders on both procedural and substantive grounds. This decision has been met with swift criticism.

This note will not discuss the Court’s assessment of the factual claims that were brought before it and will instead highlight some key legal issues that are relevant to the Court’s decision, focusing on international law.