Israeli Attorney General: Effort to Legalize Settlements Unconstitutional

Amona Settlers Vow to Remain on Illegally Occupied Palestinian Land

by Jason Ditz, July 17, 2016

Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit today warned that a bill which aims to retroactively legalize the illegal West Bank settler outpost of Amona was blatantly unconstitutional, all but closing the door on Israel’s far-right government continuing to spurn court orders to demolish it.

Amona was illegally built on privately owned Palestinian land in 1995, and the Israeli High Court ruled it illegal in 2006. After years of spurning court orders to do something about it, the High Court finally gave the government under December of 2016 to demolish the site and return it to its legal owners.

The far-right government has tried to come up with some sort of settlement for the evacuation, offering to relocate the settlers to the nearby settlement of Ofra. They have refused and reiterated their refusal today, insisting they believe the government will eventually realize the voters put them in power to legalize such construction.

Mandelblit’s warning that the legalization effort would never survive in court came after he Justice Ministry had already punted on debating the bill until next weekend, though whether it will see the light to day remains uncertain.

The Amona settlers argue that the government subsidized their construction of the illegal outpost in the first place, and that they took that as a promise that the settlement, like so many others, would be retroactively legalized.

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