Mofaz to raze illegal outpost by January

Decision in response to petition to High Court; Peace Now: January is too late.

By
November 7, 2005 01:36
3 minute read.
amona 298.88

amona aerial view 248.88. (photo credit: Peace Now)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz has pledged to demolish by January 2006 nine new permanent homes in the 30-family unauthorized outpost of Amona in Judea. His decision is in response to a High Court of Justice petition filed in July by the left-wing group Peace Now. On Sunday, Peace Now released court documents informing the case's plaintiffs and defendants of Mofaz's pledge. Mofaz's office has confirmed the information. But Peace Now said it was hardly jumping for joy at the news. "The end of January is very far away. Why will it take so long?" Peace Now spokesman Ya'ariv Oppenheir asked on Sunday. Peace Now's attorney, Michael Sfard, said the state has already told the court that the construction was illegal. The court's reaction was to ask Mofaz for a timetable for the demolition. Now that disengagement has passed, the court is once again pressing Mofaz for a schedule, Sfard said. The state had promised in August to demolish the homes after Israel completed its pullout from Gaza. In a government report released last march by attorney Talia Sasson, Amona was listed as one of 105 unauthorized outposts. It is one of 61 outposts listed in the report that were built on partly or wholly unauthorized land. But, even before the Sasson report, injunctions and demolition orders had been issued against the homes as early as October 2004. Amona, home to 30 families and established in 1996 on a hilltop opposite Ofra, considers itself to be the "first outpost." The families are living in small caravans on the site. Amona settler Yifat Ehrlich, whose family is among the nine that have built homes, had hoped to move in before she gives birth in two months. Now she is fearful she may never get to live in the 110-meter house that stands empty as she awaits the court's decision. She and the other families have abided by a court injunction not to move into the structures until the court case is completed. Dror Etkes from Peace Now, however, has pointed out that work on the home has continued in spite of the court case. Ehrlich said that she was unaware of any legal problems with the permanent housing plots when she decided to build there. She believes, however, that regardless of the legality of the plots, the presence of Amona on the hilltop is legal because it is situated within Ofra's municipal boundaries. Ehrlich was a resident of Ofra for six years. She said she started to build in Amona at the urging of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon during a meeting three or four years ago. "He asked me where I lived and I said Amona," she recalled, saying that he then urged her to start building there.

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN