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Israel asks to defer demolition of settler homes

This Sunday, April 22, 2012 photo shows the Ulpana neighborhood in the West Bank settlement of Beit El near Ramallah. A looming deadline to demolish the homes of 30 Jewish settler families in the unauthorized Ulpana outpost has become a tough new test of the Israeli Prime Minster's ability to sustain a delicate balancing act, with some hardline allies warning that if the buildings come down his government will fall as well. This Sunday, April 22, 2012 photo shows the Ulpana neighborhood in the West Bank settlement of Beit El near Ramallah. A looming deadline to demolish the homes of 30 Jewish settler families in the unauthorized Ulpana outpost has become a tough new test of the Israeli Prime Minster's ability to sustain a delicate balancing act, with some hardline allies warning that if the buildings come down his government will fall as well. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
April 27, 2012
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JERUSALEM—The Israeli government has asked the nation's Supreme Court to defer next week's deadline for demolishing an unauthorized West Bank settlement outpost.

The request Friday said the government needs 90 more days to consider a court order to destroy the 30 apartments there.

It is not clear whether the court will agree. Critics of the proposed delay accuse the government of trying to flout the rule of law.

The state previously agreed to destroy the apartments in the Ulpana outpost because they were erected on privately owned Palestinian land.

Israel has pledged to remove dozens of unauthorized outposts but has taken down only a few.

The issue of West Bank settlement construction is at the heart of the current impasse in peace efforts.

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