Supreme Court nixes Amona Deal
The Supreme Court ended any chance of implementing the agreement between the government and Amona, when it issued a stay order forbidding any construction related work to be done on the plots to which the government had planned to relocate the Amona settlers.
The court issued the order in response to a petition filed by resident of the Palestinian village of Silwad. The plaintiffs, represented by Yesh Din, a legal rights NGO, petitioned the court to issue an injunction against the planned relocation of Amona, claiming some of the plots in question are owned by residents of Silwad.
Yesh Din Executive Director Neta Patrisk said the organization agreed to represent the villagers to prevent illegal confiscation of privately owned land by the government. She said she understood the residents of Amona had suffered an injustice by being forced to evacuate their homes, but “two wrongs do not make a right, you cannot correct one wrong by vomiting another one”.
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said that the ruling means there is no way any alternate housing can be prepared before Amona is evacuated on February 8, in accordance with the Supreme Court’s ruling.
Amona residents said that in view of the collapse of the agreement with them, the government will have to choose between passing the controversial Expropriation Bill, or risking a showdown that could “shake the foundations of the state”, as one resident put it. Other residents were less militant, saying that while they would not go quietly, they would not resort to violence.
Given Netanyahu’s increasingly tenuous legal position, and the political agendas at work, it is quite possible that the Amona crisis brings the government down.