Palestinians try to block IDF from seizing their land

On Thursday, the non-governmental group Yesh Din announced that 13 Palestinians from the nearby village of Silwad, Ein Yabrud and Taybe have filed objections to the seizure plan.

September 8, 2016 21:50
1 minute read.
A Palestinian woman argues with an Israeli border policeman during a protest

A Palestinian woman argues with an Israeli border policeman during a protest against Jewish settlements in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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At least 13 Palestinians have claimed ownership of the land which the Defense Ministry has earmarked as the best site on which to relocate the West Bank outpost of Amona.

The High Court of Justice has ordered that the small hilltop community in the Binyamin region must be razed by December 25, because it was built without permits on private Palestinian property.

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The 40 families that live there have insisted that, in spite of the court ruling, the government has a responsibility to legalize their community, and that they have no intention of abandoning their homes.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has said that he intends to carry out the court’s ruling. However, he has offered a compromise, by which the outpost could be relocated to 35 abandoned property lots just a few meters away.

This proposal would allow the families to remain in essentially the same location.

Last month, he ordered the civil administration to begin the process of seizing the land, and news of the seizure plan was published in local Arabic papers.

On Thursday, the non-governmental group Yesh Din announced that at least 13 Palestinians from the nearby villages of Silwad, Ein Yabrud and Taybeh have filed objections to the seizure plan.

Yesh Din had initially petitioned the court in opposition to the outpost on behalf of Palestinian families from Silwad, who claimed ownership to the property lots on which Amona was constructed.

Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit has yet to rule on the legality of the land seizure, but has told Liberman that in the interim he can begin the bureaucratic process toward the legalization of the relocation plan.

The campaign to save Amona, which has wide support in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, explained that the issue was not about property rights, but rather the Palestinian drive to keep Jews from settling in Judea and Samaria.

The land claims “are lies” that were brought forward with the help of the Palestinian Authority and the European Union, it said.

It called on the government to approve legislation that would retroactively legalize some 2,000 unauthorized homes in Judea and Samaria. In certain cases, where those homes are built on private Palestinian property, the legislation offers to compensate the Palestinian landowners.

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