Daily Israel Report

State to Supreme Court: Further Amona Evictions Unenforceable

Enforcing the Supreme Court's in-concrete petition will damage the interests of the State, the Supreme Court hears Monday morning.
By Adam Ross
First Publish: 10/14/2013, 12:37 PM

Amona
Amona
Amona Facebook page

The State is making a request Monday morning to Israel's Supreme Court, asking that it not be instructed to carry out further evictions at the community of Amona. It will argue that enforcing a petition to do so would damage the national interest.

Amona is a community in central Samaria (Shomron), established by members of the nearby community of Ofra in 1996. Some of its buildings were built on land either not owned or not fully owned by community residents.

Today's request follows an August ruling by Supreme Court judges Asher Grunis, Esther Hayut and Hanan Meltzer that they agreed with Arab and leftist petitioners, claiming that homes in Amona were illegally built and that residents should be evicted. The judges also agreed with them the lawsuit should be expanded to include all of Amona, including private land plots over which there are no claims whatsoever.

The State has since argued that the court's petition is not concrete because ownership of the property is not totally clear.

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.

Monday's application will see the state attempt to revisit the issue, on the basis of two additional claims, which both relate to the enforcement of land law in Judea and Samaria.

First, the state will claim that it can't provide assistance to the enforcement of the petition where there isn't a concrete proof of land ownership. The state will say that in a usual land dispute case, a decision would be reached to resolve the dispute through comprises on territory and property which is not possible in Judea and Samaria.

In a follow up second claim, the state will say in general that the enforcement of all orders that lack a concrete petition are put into question in Judea and Samaria - therefore concluding that it is not able to deal with the matter.

The state will contend that there is precedent for state cases winning out against individual property rights and therefore contends that, in the case of Amona, where there is not even a concrete petition, the state's concerns should be favored by the court.

The residents of Amona have had to suffer months of concern over the issue of whether their homes face demolition. Earlier this year, they breathed a collective sigh of relief when Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein decided that only one building on disputed land in the community would be uprooted.

That decision was overturned by the Supreme Court in September, which said the whole community could be threatened by demolition.