Residents of the Samaria (Shomron) community of Amona were able to breathe a sigh of relief on Thursday, after Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein decided that only one building on disputed land in the community will be demolished.
Palestinian Authority Arabs, who have claimed ownership of the land on which Amona was built, petitioned the Court to order 30 homes in the community demolished.
However, in a letter written to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, Weinstein said that the one building, along with the access road to the community, should be demolished by Wednesday.
Amona residents have said they purchased 70 percent of the land their town is built on from local Arabs. Homes built on the purchased land should not be destroyed, they argue. Arabs and leftist petitioners, meanwhile, were able to produce documentation of ownership for just a small part of the land.
Last Friday, the Supreme Court partially accepted a petition submitted by the State of Israel and postponed the planned eviction and demolition in Amona.
The Court agreed to give the residents additional time to present proof that they have legally purchased the land.
In February 2006, the Israel Police were ordered to demolish nine homes in Amona. Hundreds of protesters showed up to oppose the demolition. Over 200 were injured, some seriously, in clashes that opened a renewed public debate on the issue of police violence.
Amona residents welcome the decision
Residents of Amona welcome Weinstein’s decision on Thursday evening, saying it “says yes, in a loud and clear voice, to the settlement enterprise and to Amona.”
“We thank from the bottom of our hearts everyone who contributed and helped lead to the decision that our community will not be destroyed and will be left in its place. We promise Israel from here - Amona, the land of our forefathers - to continue to build, plant and fulfill all the hopes,” said the residents.