High Court orders state to evacuate Amona outpost

Court sets April deadline for evacuation of outpost in response to state request; MK Uri Ariel attacks Likud over decision.

Amona outpost 370 (photo credit: Baz Ratner/Reuters)
Amona outpost 370
(photo credit: Baz Ratner/Reuters)
The High Court of Justice ordered the state on Tuesday to evacuate the West Bank outpost of Amona by April 30.
The outpost had been slated for removal by the end of 2012, but in November the state requested a six-month delay. At the time, the state said it wanted time to find a peaceful resolution and explore some issues that had arisen with some of the land parcels.
In a short note on Tuesday evening, however, the court set an April 30 timetable, without referencing the rest of the state’s points.
Amona residents, who hope to remain in their homes near the Ofra settlement, said they were studying the matter.
Built in 1995 with NIS 2.1 million from the Construction and Housing Ministry, Amona is one of the oldest of the West Bank outposts.
It is best known for the clashes that took place there on February 1, 2006, when the IDF and police demolished nine permanent homes constructed without proper permits. Some 200 soldiers, police officers, settlers and activists were injured in those clashes when protesters took a stand inside and around the structures, refusing to leave until they were forcibly evicted.
In November 2008, the NGO Yesh Din filed a petition against the outpost before the High Court of Justice on behalf of 10 Palestinians who claim land ownership. They similarly filed a civil suit in the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court.
Amona residents, in turn, have in the past claimed to have purchased the land from Palestinians.
MK Uri Ariel (National Union), now No. 2 on the Bayit Yehudi list, immediately attacked the Likud over the court’s decision, for failing to control the prosecutor’s office.
He added that the decision could have been averted if the government had approved the Levy Report, which called for the legalization of West Bank outposts wherever possible.