Outposts: Amona

Yesh Din assists Palestinian landowners to sue the State of Israel for damages caused by failure to evacuate unauthorized outpost Amona.
 

Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Throughout the month of August 1995, Israeli civilians invaded the area in which the privately-owned plots of Palestinian villagers of Silwad are located.  In the years since the invasion, tens of structures have gone up - some of which were funded by Israeli government - and hundreds of dunams have been stolen. 
 
Since then, the land has changed beyond recognition, and the landowners’ access to the lands has been bared, and their fruits reaped by trespassers.  The outpost that was erected on the land has been named Amona by its inhabitants.

On November 25th, 2008, 10 Palestinians filed a petition with the HCJ through Yesh Din, demanding the evacuation of Amona. The petition, filed against the Defense Minister and the Head of OC Central Command, among others, demanded that Amona be evacuated, and that the fencing which encloses parts of it, restricting the owners' access to their lands, be removed.
 
A month later, in December 2008, Yesh Din assisted the landowners of the plots in filing a complaint against the State of Israel, for having violated its obligations by collaborating in the establishment of the outpost and failing to evacuate it. The monetary suit was filed with the Magistrate Court in Jerusalem.  This monetary suit followed one month after a High Court petition was submitted, demanding the immediate evacuation of Amona.  
 
The complainants demanded a sum of NIS 1 million as compensation based on calculations of loss of potential income from the lands during the years when the outpost occupied it. “The complainants, as such, demand from the court monetary compensation for Israel’s violation of its obligation as an occupying power to protect Palestinian civilians and their property and the State’s cooperation (of various state authorities) in the establishment of the outpost.” 
 
For ideological reasons, the demand for compensation was made only on the basis of land-grabbing and not land-use.  The plaintiffs are not interested in earning a single shekel from the thieves residing on the land.

In a hearing in the petition held on May 5th 2010, the court issued an order nisi, ordering the State to file an affidavit in which it will explain why it believes the HCJ should refrain from issuing a binding order for the demolition of the outpost. In the affidavit, filed on October 24, 2010, the State claimed that dismantling outposts or settlement is an issue effected by "political considerations" based on the negotiations with the Palestinians.

Another hearing in the petition was held on May 18th, 2011.
 
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