Tags: ML | Israel | Palestinians

Israel Court Rejects Plea to Delay West Bank Outpost Removal

Monday, 14 November 2016 04:12 PM

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's Supreme Court on Monday rejected a government petition to postpone demolition of a West Bank settlement outpost whose fate could destabilize Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's hard-line coalition.

The ruling on Amona comes a day after a parliamentary committee approved a bill that, if adopted, would legalize outposts built without government permission.

The court ruled in 2014 that Amona was built on private Palestinian land and must be demolished by Dec. 25 of this year. In 2006, Israeli police demolished nine homes at Amona, setting off clashes with settlers. Several dozen trailers remained.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 war and began building settlements there soon after. Palestinians and the international community view both settlements and outposts as illegal or illegitimate, and an obstacle to Palestinian statehood.

The Israeli bill still needs to pass several stages before it can be adopted. A first reading is expected in parliament on Wednesday.

Yesh Din, an Israeli rights group, has condemned the bill, calling it "a legal stunt designed to legally sanction takeover of Palestinian land in the West Bank."

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau told reporters on Monday that the U.S. was "deeply concerned about the advancement of legislation that would allow for the legalization of illegal Israeli outposts located on private Palestinian land."

"If this law were enacted it would pave the way for the legalization of dozens of illegal outposts deep in the West Bank," Trudeau said. "This would represent an unprecedented and troubling step that is inconsistent with prior Israeli legal opinion and also break longstanding Israeli policy of not building on private Palestinian land."

"This legislation would be a dramatic advancement of the settlement enterprise, which is already gravely endangering the prospects for a two-state solution," she added.

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Israel's Supreme Court on Monday rejected a government petition to postpone demolition of a West Bank settlement outpost whose fate could destabilize Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's hard-line coalition.The ruling on Amona comes a day after a parliamentary committee...
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2016-12-14
Monday, 14 November 2016 04:12 PM
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