Amona 2006 clashes 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
At the last moment, the High Court of Justice on Sunday agreed to delay the
evacuation of the West Bank Amona outpost until July 15.
Based on a prior
court ruling, the IDF and the Border Police had been scheduled to evacuate the
outpost – located outside the Ofra settlement in the Binyamin region – by the
end of April.
Last month, the state had asked for an extension to allow
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s newly sworn in government time to examine
Amona outpost is likely to become the first test case for the
new government with regard to its policy on unauthorized Jewish building in
Judea and Samaria.
Bayit Yehudi politicians, who now belong to the third
largest party in the coalition, have in the past stated their opposition to the
demolition of Amona.
“The government should do everything possible to
prevent the evacuation,” MK Orit Struck (Bayit Yehudi) said on Sunday.
its one-line decision to acquiesce to the state’s request, the High Court said
the July 15 evacuation date was the final extension it would grant to the
It added that the defendants had until June 23 and the
petitioners until July 2, to respond to the new deadline set by the
The non-governmental organization Yesh Din, which had petitioned
the court against the outpost in 2008 on behalf of 10 Palestinians who claim
ownership over the outpost’s land, said that Sunday’s decision was a
In past responses to the court, the state has said it is
investigating claims by settlers that they have purchased some of the outpost
Yesh Din’s attorney Shlomi Zachary said he believed the High
Court of Justice on Sunday had rejected those claims, when it stated that this
was the “final” extension.
“The court’s decision today closed the ongoing
discussion with regard to the Amona outpost,” he said.
He added that it
strengthens the contention that the outpost was illegally built on “stolen
“We hope the state will honor the court’s decision without any
delays or excuses, as has been done in the past,” Zachary said.
that two of the Palestinian petitioners had died since turning to the court and
that the others want to return to their land.
Struck said, “The
evacuation and destruction of Amona after the attorney general’s office has said
that portions of the property have been purchased, would be wanton
The Amona outpost spokesman could not be reached for
Built in 1995 with NIS 2.1 million from the Construction and
Housing Ministry, Amona is one of the oldest of the West Bank outposts.
According to Peace Now there are some 60 structures on the outpost.
2005 government commissioned report by attorney Talia Sasson stated that the
outpost was built on private Palestinian property without proper
The outpost is best known for the violent clashes that took
place there on February 1, 2006, when the IDF and police demolished nine
permanent homes constructed there without proper permits.