Israel’s Supreme Court has finally ruled on the question of Amona, the largest of several illegal settler outposts built on private land in the occupied West Bank, declaring it must be demolished and its residents evacuated.
Amona was built in 1997 on private Palestinian owned land, and has a population of around 200. Local Palestinians have been petitioning for its demolition but the Israeli government has resisted this. The settlers claimed to have owned the land, but police say they believe the deeds the settlers produced were forgeries.
The court ruled that the settlement was built without permit, and it needed to be demolished, irrespective of whose property it was built on. They said there was no way for the defense ministry to retroactively legalize building that took place years ago.
Israeli forces tried to demolish Amona back in 2006, on the orders of former DM Shaul Mofaz. Protests stopped the demolition, and parliament pushed until the matter was dropped.