Akiva Eldar
July 14, 2010 - 12:00am

The police refuse to carry out a court order to evict Jewish residents of the Beit Yonatan building in East Jerusalem, the city's legal advisor, Yosef Havilio, charged on Tuesday.

The order was issued two years ago, and five months ago, then-attorney general Menachem Mazuz ordered the police to execute it without delay. But so far, nothing has happened.

On Tuesday, Havilio sent an angry letter to Police Commissioner David Cohen. Two weeks ago, he wrote, the city's eviction department asked the Jerusalem police to set a date for the eviction, but the police have yet to do so.

City officials, he added, are ready to carry out the eviction immediately and have repeatedly told the police so, but to no avail.

In the two years since the court ordered Beit Yonatan evacuated and sealed, the city has carried out dozens of demolition orders, including in East Jerusalem, with the police's help, Havilio noted.

"Under these circumstances, nonimplementation of the order for Beit Yonatan is liable to create harsh feelings of discrimination and serious damage to the rule of law and to the [authorities'] enforcement and deterrence capabilities," he concluded.

A police spokesman responded that the police will make the necessary forces available whenever the municipality so requests, "subject to a situation assessment."

Police sources involved in the issue said that until Havilio resolves his dispute with Mayor Nir Barkat over when the order should be implemented, there is nothing the police can do.


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