High Court Rules Against Settlement for First Time

October 22, 1979

The Israeli Supreme Court rules on an appeal by Arab landowners that the Gush Emunim settlement of Elon Moreh must be dismantled because of a lack of evidence that it was established for security reasons. It is the first time the high court has ruled against Jewish settlers in nine years of such cases.

The settlers are given 30 days to evacuate, and the military government must cover the trial costs of the Arab residents of the village of Rujeib who filed the appeal.

The settlement in Samaria was established six months earlier on a hill above Nablus.

A five-judge panel led by Justice Moshe Landau, the president of the Supreme Court, hears the case. The IDF chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Rafael Eitan, gives testimony indicating that the military wants the settlement in that location for security and counterterrorism reasons. But other military experts, including Defense Minister Ezer Weizman, say the site was chosen for political reasons, and Landau agrees.