The outpost of Amona was built on private Palestinian land registered in Tabu under the names Mariam, Ibrahim, Munir and additional residents from the villages Taybeh, Ein Yabrud and Silwad.
Since the outpost was established in 1996, the army and residents of the outpost have prevented the landowners from reaching their land or cultivating it.
Against the Law
The outpost was built in contravention of both Israeli and international law. Simply put, this is the theft of Palestinian land for the benefit of Jewish settlement in the West Bank.
The Civil Administration issued demolitions orders for structures in the outpost in 1997, but did not enforce them or take steps to remove the trespassers from the land.
Various government ministries, public authorities and other institutions assisted in the founding and establishment and of the outpost, with public funds.
High Court of Justice Rulings
Two petitions to the High Court of Justice were submitted against the building of structures on private Palestinian lands:
In 2006, Israeli NGO Peace Now’s petition demanding the evacuation of nine permanent structures in the outpost was accepted and the structures were subsequently removed.
In 2008, Palestinian landowners on whose land Amona was built filed a petition with the High Court, with the help of Yesh Din, to demand the enforcement of the demolition orders issued by the state for all the outpost’s structures. In December 2014, the High Court accepted the petition and determined Amona must be evacuated within two years.
Compromises and Plans
Any compromise and solution must gain the approval of the landowners, who have the exclusive right to decide what is the fate of their land.
The plan agreed upon between the Israeli government and the residents of Amona rectified one wrong with another. It still means confiscation of private Palestinian land, which is simply illegal and unethical.
The residents of Amona have made it clear by their actions that they are interested in preventing Palestinians from ever returning to their land – as they are the ones who refused to agree to any other solution.
Hopefully the evacuation of the unauthorized outpost of Amona will enable the Palestinian landowners to return to their lands and fulfill their basic rights to property and freedom of movement.