Supreme Court Postpones Demolition in Amona

The Supreme Court has agreed to give Amona residents time to present proof that they legally purchased disputed land.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Violence at Amona
Violence at Amona
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Supreme Court on Friday partially accepted a petition submitted by the State of Israel and postponed a planned eviction and demolition of homes in the Samaria community of Amona.

Palestinian Authority Arabs have claimed ownership of the land on which Amona was built, leading to fears that the it will be demolished, similar to the demolitions in Migron and the Ulpana neighborhood of Beit El following similar land disputes.

Amona residents say 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.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court agreed to give the residents some additional time to present proof that they have legally purchased the land.

The Court ruled that the residents will have until the end of July to present the proof to the Magistrates Court. At the same time, the judges ordered that homes on land that has not been legally purchased be demolished within the next two weeks, while ordering the State to take into consideration the fast of Tisha B'Av which will be observed this coming Tuesday.

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.

The rabbi of Amona, Yair Frankel, told Arutz Sheva on Thursday that he was hopeful things will work out.

“We are of course following the events in the Supreme Court, but for us it does not matter what is decided. We believe in the justice of our cause,” he said.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)