Israeli Government Wants to Legalize All West Bank Jewish Outposts

An Israeli settler puts an Israeli flag on the roof of a Palestinian house in a building in the center of the Palestinian city Hebron. (Photo: Via MEMO)

The Israeli Supreme Court dismissed a petition by the Israeli government to postpone evacuating the illegal Amona outpost, built on privately-owned Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank, ruling that the evacuation be carried out by Dec. 25 as previously ordered by the court.

Justices Miriam Naor, Esther Hayut, and Hanan Meltzer reprimanded the state for its eleventh hour attempt to extend the deadline of evacuation, after implementation of the court’s decision has already been repeatedly delayed since Palestinian landowners successfully petitioned to remove the outpost in 2008.

“The obligation to honor court rulings is not a matter of choice. It is essential to government by law to which everyone is subject, as part of the values of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state,” Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted the court as saying.

The Israeli human rights group Yesh Din, who represents the Palestinian landowners, reportedly said that “The court did well in rejecting the petition, which had nothing behind it except the prosecution’s capitulation to political pressures.”

The request for a six-month delay was supported by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and put forward last month by Education Minister Naftali Bennett, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

However, after Israel’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation unanimously approved a law on Sunday that would retroactively legalize all outposts in the occupied West Bank, the fate of Amona and the Israeli settlers illegally residing there remained unclear.

While the law would allow land to be “leased” to settlers — financially compensating Palestinian landowners who would not have the right to appeal — Peace Now said Monday “The idea of the lease is simply a bluff meant to evade land expropriation. History in the region has shown that what is temporary becomes permanent. Thus, the leasing means a de-facto expropriation.”

(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)

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