Saturday, February 4

The Evacuation of Amona

“Thou shalt Not Steal” Exodus 20:15

The evacuation of Amona has been achieved over the past few days. Most of the 41 families, who lived on this outpost, were evacuated by the police without any violent resistance. The police carried out a High Court order for the evacuation of this outpost on legal grounds that it was built on stolen Palestinian land. It may not be a happy day for those illegal settlers, who were evicted, but certainly a happy day for Israel that still holds the decisions of the Israeli Supreme Court as legally binding, beyond ruling party coalition government desires.

In a ruling that caused outrage in Israel, in 2014 the Supreme Court found that Amona, a settlement built on private Palestinian land, was illegally constructed, and ordered its demolition.1

The resistance and violence against the police, who carried out their duties was committed by skull capped, earlocked(peyot)
Violence against evacuation
and fringes (tzitziit)-wearing hooligans also known as the “hilltop youth”, who do not live in Amona, only arrived to cause violence and destruction. This is the same rabble that carried out attacks against Palestinians and their property as well as setting fire to mosques and churches.

They injured dozens of police members with stones, bars and chains. These “religious” hooligans were treated with kid gloves and this explains the high amount of injuries suffered by members of the police force in carrying out the court order for the evacuation of Amona. These hooligans were bussed away to neighboring Ofrah, where they smashed bus windows and jumped out of the bus creating havoc. These hoodlums should have been taken into custody and brought to justice. Can you imagine what the police would do to Palestinians, who behaved in this manner?

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said some 3,000 police officers were operating “carefully and slowly” to evacuate the Amona settlement ahead of its court-ordered demolition — in stark contrast to their heavy-handed approach to knocking down Palestinian homes.2

Those responsible for the Amona debacle were not the settlers, but Likud coalitions, present and past, who gave carte blanche to settle on Palestinian owned land in order to strengthen the settler enterprise in the occupied territories, rendering the two-state solution not viable. They had stopped short of giving official permission to build on Palestinian land.The settlers, imbued with right wing ideology over Greater Israel, have been living in Amona for more than twenty years. It boggles the mind how the government of Israel had turned a blind eye to building this outpost and many others for so many years. This should never have happened.
Israeli policemen clash with protesters during the evacuation of Amona, on Wednesday. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

In desperation, the government wishes to pass a law preventing the further evacuation of outposts built on Palestinian-owned land called the Regulation Bill that basically legalizes theft of Palestinian land for building outposts for Israeli settlement. This Bill is about to have its final third reading before being passed into law. The Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has expressed his opposition to this bill on the grounds that it is illegal.

It appears that Amona was evacuated before this contentious Regulation Bill was made into law. If the the bill is passed, it will weaken the High Court and the rule of law in Israel. This will be a threat to Israel’s democracy and will open the door for further bills to be enacted in order to suit the ideology of the right wing government and to weaken opposition to bills destined to erode democracy in order to suit the political platform of the ruling Likud Coalition.

"There is a use of the Amona issue to hide the Israeli decision to build another 3,000 new housing units, [part of a plan] to divide the West Bank in two, surround Jerusalem, and prevent any opportunity for a Palestinian state and the option of two state solution."3

Al-Ayyam said in this regard Israeli occupation authorities evacuated settlers from 40 caravans in Amona outpost, noting that the evacuation served as a smokescreen for Israel's plan to construct 3,000 new units in settlements across the West Bank.4

Now with the new Trump Administration in place, it remains to be seen if the present right wing Government Coalition will get support from the new administration for the settler enterprise in the occupied territories. To date the issue has been treated with “soft-serve” by the new Trump Administration. To date their attitude towards the settlement enterprise in the occupied territories is that it is not an obstacle for peace, but continuing to build new settlements or enlarging existing ones may be an obstacle to peace in which case it is not encouraged even by the new Trump Administration.   

  1. 1. 2 Feb. 2017, Accessed 3 Feb. 2017.
  2. Accessed 3 Feb. 2017.
  3. 2 Feb. 2017, Accessed 4 Feb. 2017.
  4. 2 Feb. 2017, Accessed 3 Feb. 2017.

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