Settlement activists plan J'lem march against demolitions

Activists to march on capital from Supreme Court to Knesset calling on gov't to intercede on behalf of Migron, Givat Assad, Amona outposts.

By
November 7, 2011 03:59
2 minute read.
West Bank outpost [illustrative]

Migron outpost aerial_311. (photo credit: Baz Ratner / Reuters)

To protest pending outpost demolitions, settlement activists plan a short march in the capital on Monday, from the Supreme Court to the Knesset.

They are calling on the Knesset to intercede on behalf of at least three outposts – Migron, Givat Assaf and Amona. The three are located in the Binyamin region of the northern West Bank and are under threat of court-mandated demolitions.

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Activists and settlers are hoping that politicians will save the threatened homes.

“The ball is in their court,” said Oshrat Cohen of the Psagot settlement near Ramallah, who is helping to organize the march. In accordance with this theme, activists will have a large ball with them, she said.

The march is part of a larger campaign by the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, which opened with an intensive banner campaign on Sunday.

Large anti-demolition white banners were stretched out across poles and fences near the cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.

Each had the name of a government minister in black and then read: “Don’t destroy my home.”

The demonstration and the banner campaign come as the state prepares to submit to the High Court of Justice on Friday a time table for the demolition of the Amona and Givat Assaf outposts. The Migron outpost is slated to be demolished by the end of March.

The court has ruled that these outposts must be removed because they are on privately owned Palestinian land.

Residents of the outposts, as well as right-wing politicians, say the land does not belong to Palestinians and that it can be re-classified as state land. In some cases, where private Palestinians have proof of ownership, the residents say they bought it.

Likud politicians hoping to thwart the demolitions, including at Amona, have secured from the prime minister a pledge that he will form a committee to re-examine the status of West Bank land, including areas that have been designed as private Palestinian land.

But although the formation of the committee was announced last month, its creation has been bogged down in debates and legal questions regarding its mandate and membership.

As of Sunday night, the committee had not been formed.

Likud politicians are hoping that once it is formed, the state will ask the court to delay all demolitions until the committee completes its work, thereby giving the outposts a reprieve.

But that plan will only be effective if the committee is formed before the state responds to the court.


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