illegal outpost 88.
(photo credit: )
With the High Court of Justice expected to decide the fate of 18 homes in two more illegal Samaria outposts in the next few months, Wednesday's violence at Amona may soon be repeated.
Peace Now, which successfully petitioned the court to force the government to enforce its own demolition orders in Amona, is asking the court to do the same regarding six permanent structures in Haresha and 12 in Hayovel. Those structures, the organization says, in addition to being built without permits are located on private land partly owned by Palestinians.
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Though the government has concurred with that assessment and issued demolition orders for the homes, it has not carried out its ruling.
"This is a game, an important game, but a game," Dror Etkes, the coordinator for Peace Now's settlement watch project, said of his group's efforts to force the home demolitions.
Despite the demolitions in Amona, "there is still no shift in Israeli policy about whether the settlers must follow the same law as every other Israeli. If there was, they would begin demolishing the whole [Amona] outpost tomorrow, because it is all illegally built."
According to the Sasson Report issued last March, There are 105 illegal outposts in the West Bank. Until Wednesday, the government had not acted to remove any of them, leading to accusations from a variety of sources that the state was not enforcing the rule of law and that a separate legal structure existed for settlers.
Haresha, northwest of Ramallah and 1.5 kilometers from its parent, Talmon, was established in 1997 and is populated by 30 families, according to Peace Now. The outpost consists of 32 caravans and the six permanent homes involved in the court case. It lies outside the boundaries of Talmon.
Hayovel, north of Shiloh and one km. from Eli, was established in 1998 and is populated by 22 families. There are 30 caravans and 17 permanent homes, including 12 constructed in the last year which Peace Now has petitioned the court to order demolished.
"Our message to the government is that if you won't take responsibility to uphold the law, we will force you to do so," Etkes said.
He added that a precedent was set with the evacuation and demolition of nine homes in Amona, despite the strong resistance put up by settler protesters. "It sends a message to everyone that the rules from here on out have changed," he said.
Messages left by The Jerusalem Post
with representatives of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip and the spokesman for Haresha seeking comment were not returned. No representative from Hayovel could be reached.