Caravans in Amona
Caravans in AmonaFlash 90

Nationalist MKs attacked on Thursday evening the decision of the High Court that the new community of Amona in the Shomron (Samaria) be demolished within two years.

In its decision, the Court said that despite the facts that the details of ownership of land have not yet been fully established, “the homes in Amona are built on private land and there is no way to legalize their presence. The IDF commander of Judea and Samaria must actively protect the property rights of all residents, and that includes preventing unauthorized parties from taking property that does not belong to them. Construction of homes by such parties on private land is illegal and in lieu of any other arrangement they must be torn down.”

The court, in a decision written by Chief Justice Asher Grunis, rejected claims by Amona residents that they had legally purchased the land. Even if they had, Grunis said, the homes there were built without permits or licenses from planning commissions and other legal bodies whose approval is required for construction.

Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein said the decision is "difficult, painful and infuriating.”

“Along with the adherence to the rule of law it was expected that common sense will prevail and that law enforcement would be proportionate and equal, since it is a blooming community in which many families built homes,” he said.

“It is too bad that under the pretext of protecting rights, the residents are harmed again. I very much hope that the time allotted will allow for a reasonable and humane solution for the families,” added Edelstein.

Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud) responded to the decision as well, saying, “A situation in which a city or neighborhood are uprooted because of a dispute over ownership of the land is intolerable. A similar dispute in northern Tel Aviv or Kfar Saba would have ended in giving compensation or an alternate land to the owners, and in no way would a neighborhood in Kfar Saba or Ramat Aviv be destroyed.”

"Just as it was in Migron and in the Ulpana neighborhood [in the town of Beit El], here too the result is contrary to the laws of logic and elementary morality," he added.

Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis called on the government to adopt the report written by the late Judge Edmond Levy, which concluded that there is no “occupation” and international law allows Jews to live in Judea and Samaria, as its status was not that of a nation in 1967.

"It is indeed unfortunate that the Supreme Court has yet again issued rulings that run against the legitimacy of the establishing of new communities. The government needs to immediately adopt the report of Justice Edmond Levy, in order that a clear and immediate response to a ruling such as this," Akunis said.

MK Danny Danon (Likud) said that “the lack of proportionality in the decision is very jarring. The matter could have been settled with financial compensation instead of destroying an entire town.”

MK Yariv Levin (Likud) said, "The High Court justices are once again trampling the basic principles of Israel, and are blatantly and inappropriately interfering, under the guise of protecting rights, in decisions that have nothing to do with them.”