Thousands rally in Ofra to protest planned evacuation

After Supreme Court delays evacuation of Ofra neighborhood by one month, thousands gather to demand normalization of threatened homes.

Tags: Ofra Amona
Eliran Aharon , | updated: 5:18 PM

Ofra residents demonstrate
Ofra residents demonstrate
Eliran Aharon

Thousands of demonstrators gathered in the town of Ofra Sunday afternoon to protest the planned demolition of nine homes in the community and demand normalization of the threatened neighborhood.

Ofra, a town of over 3,200 north of Jerusalem, is located just north of the recently evacuated town of Amona, where 42 families were removed, following eviction orders issued by the Supreme Court.

The court has also ordered the destruction of nine houses inside Ofra, following claims made by alleged absentee landlords to the IDF’s Civil Administration on the land. On Sunday the court agreed to delay the demolition orders by one month, but rejected an appeal to delay the demolition of five of the nine houses by three months.

Shortly after the ruling, thousands of demonstrators converged on Ofra, protesting the court order and demanding that the government apply the Regulation Law, which is slated to be voted on this week, to the contested Ofra neighborhood.

The Regulation Law, proposed as a solution for thousands of Jewish homes left vulnerable to potential claims of land ownership by absentee owners, has been a key provision in an agreement hammered out between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Naftali Bennett ahead of the Amona evacuation.