State still has no solution for Amona families

The state is looking to relocate the Amona outpost to another area of the same hilltop outside of the Ofra settlement.

January 19, 2017 06:10
2 minute read.
THE AMONA OUTPOST in the Binyamin region is seen yesterday.

THE AMONA OUTPOST in the Binyamin region is seen yesterday.. (photo credit: ELIYAHU KAMISHER)

The state still has not settled on a relocation site for the Amona outpost, which the High Court of Justice has mandated must be moved by February 8, Deputy Legal Adviser to the defense establishment Eran Ben Ari told politicians.

“We’re making every effort to find a solution,” Ben-Ari told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee’s sub group on Judea and Samaria, which met Tuesday to debate land status in the West Bank, as well as the future of the Amona outpost.

“We are not indifferent to the situation,” he added.

The state is looking to relocate the Amona outpost to another area of the same hilltop outside of the Ofra settlement.

To do this the IDF issued a military order changing the law regarding abandoned property to make it easier for the state to seize portions of the land.

Many of the lots in question in the West Bank are owned in partnership. In the past, it was enough for just one or several partners to show proof of ownership to prevent seizure of the land.

Under the new declaration, the state can use the law of abandoned property to seize portions of the lot for which there are no declared partners.

The state believes this change will allow the state to relocate the 40 families of the Amona outpost to what is known as lots 28, 29 and 30.

In the Knesset on Tuesday, Ben Ari made a brief reference to the idea of relocating the outpost to the same hilltop, but only gave further details about the plan in a closeddoor session.

The Civil Administration for Judea and Samaria, however, has already declared its intention to use lots 28, 29 and 30. On Thursday, the Civil Administration dismissed a petition that the head of the Silwad Village Council and the Palestinian landowners of plots 28, 29, 30 and 54 submitted through the nongovernmental group Yesh Din, whose attorneys have represented the village of Silwad in matters relating to Amona.

The Civil Administration told Yesh Did it would continue to dissolve the land partnerships but that it would no longer be working on lot 54.

Attorneys Shlomy Zachary, Muhammad Shuqier and Michal Ziv said in the objection they filed that the state’s decision to force the dissolution of land partnerships in Area C of the West Bank contravened international law and local Jordanian law.

They charged that it was a form of land confiscation that also violated past agreements to which Israel was party.

They warned that, if Israel persisted with this course of action, they might turn to the International Court of Arbitration.

“Infringing upon the property rights of the residents of Silwad, protected persons living in occupied territory, as a precondition for executing the High Court of Justice ruling to evacuate the trespassers and lawbreakers of Amona from private land is no way to uphold the rule of law but rather to keep the current government in power,” Yesh Din said in its objection to the Civil Administration.

“So many senior officials in the various government ministries, as well as the Israel Defense Forces, are participating in the effort to achieve this objective which would mark a moral transgression the likes of which we have not seen in recent decades – and all for the benefit of a handful of lawbreakers,” the objection states.

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