Israeli court orders outpost to be demolished

Supreme court orders authorities to demolish Amona, one of the oldest Jewish settlement outposts in West Bank.

    Amona was established in 1995 on private Palestinian land without Israeli government permission [AP]
    Amona was established in 1995 on private Palestinian land without Israeli government permission [AP]

    Israel's supreme court has ordered Israeli authorities to demolish one of the oldest and most contentious Jewish settlement outposts in the West Bank.

    The court on Thursday said the hilltop outpost of Amona must be evacuated within two years.

    The state "must act to carry out the demolition orders to all the structures in the locale, as they had committed to," the ruling read, noting a grace period of two years to enable the families to resettle.

    Amona was established in 1995 on private Palestinian land without Israeli government permission.

    In 2006, Israeli police demolished nine homes at the outpost, setting off a bloody clash of settlers and supporters against police and soldiers. Several dozen trailers have remained.

    The government put off dismantling the rest of the outpost, despite court deadlines.

    Amona is the largest outpost in the West Bank, and was built on lands near Ramallah privately owned by Palestinians, who were behind the court petition.

    Israel considers settlement outposts built without government approval to be illegal and often sends security personnel to demolish them.

    In June, Jerusalem Magistrate's Court ordered that the state pay six Palestinian landowners 300,000 shekels ($85,700) in compensation for their losses from the presence of settlers on their land in Amona.

    The international community considers all settlements built in the West Bank - including East Jerusalem - to be illegal.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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