Palestinians Own Most of New Israeli Settlement Site

Illegal Outpost Being Relocated to Someone Else's Land

by Jason Ditz, September 08, 2016

A group of Palestinians have submitted documents to the Israeli government today complaining that the new site on which the government intends to rebuild the illegal outpost of Amona is roughly two-thirds composed of privately-owned Palestinian land.

Amona, located on a hill in the occupied West Bank, has been repeatedly declared illegal by the Israeli court system, an outpost built by settlers on privately owned land, and the courts have ordered the evacuation of the site, something which is politically unpopular within Israel’s far-right government.

The “solution” was to relocate Amona just a little bit further away, on what the government described as “absentee properties,” but it seems as though this isn’t going to be a decent solution either, since that site as well turned out to include a lot of privately owned land.

“Absentee property” is itself a controversial matter within the Israeli occupation, as often the process of such land becoming “absentee” involves the Israeli military preventing the legal owners from making use of the land and demolishing existing structures. This has often resulted in Palestinian owners “illegally” building structures on their own land without a permit, because if they don’t build something there, the land will be taken from them outright.

The Israeli courts have given the government until December 25 to evacuate the existing Amona, but it remains to be seen if the new one will be built, or if the settlers will be transferred someplace else.

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