Israeli court extends settlement demolition order to July

JERUSALEM - Israel's Supreme Court upheld a demolition order Monday against five Jewish apartment buildings built without permission on private Palestinian land in the West Bank, but extended the deadline to July 1.

The previous deadline passed on May 1 while the government appealed for a three-month delay in the eviction.

Previously the government acknowledged that the structures, known as the West Bank outpost of Givat Haulpana, were illegally built and should be torn down. But in recent months, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing government has tried to save it and other unauthorized outposts from demolition.

In their ruling, the justices criticized the government for missing the past deadline and seeking reconsideration of a case that had already been ruled on by the court. It ordered the government to pay about $4,000 in damages to the Palestinian landowners and pay their legal fees.

Last month the court granted a similar two-month delay on an eviction order against two nearby structures.

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