Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/Flash 90
Supreme Court Justice Noam Sohlberg

The extreme left wing NGO Yesh Din withdrew its petition against the allocation of state land to the establishment of the Amichai settlement in Samaria, which had been designated for the evacuees of the now demolished Amona, Regavim reported Sunday.

Six months ago, with the start of construction work for Amichai, Yesh Din and the head of the village council of Jalud petitioned the High Court of Justice against the allocation of state lands to the new settlement, claiming that the residents of Jalud had not been given the opportunity to oppose the move and declare their rights to the land in question.

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However, while protesting that local Arabs had been left out of the judicial process, the appellant decided not to include the evacuees of Amona, who are slated to live in Amichai, as respondents to the petition.

According to Regavim, this was a strategic choice on the part of Yesh Din, who had taken care to include the Amona residents as respondents in the legal proceedings that led to the evacuation and demolition of their community.

The Amona evacuees petitioned the High Court of Justice and were promptly added to the petition as respondents.

Works at the Amichai settlement / Amona headquarters

At the end of last week, the High Court overturned the petition, when it became clear that most of the area of the designated settlement had been declared state land as early as 1981, and was allocated to the Binyamin Regional Council, which attached all of it at the same time to the jurisdiction of the settlement of Shilo.

Justice Noam Solberg rejected the Yesh Din claim that the lands of Amichai in effect belonged to Jalud, and expressed his doubt as to Yesh Din’s status as a public petitioner fighting for the rights of the villagers.

“There is no concrete claim to land rights at all here,” Justice Solberg said, pointing out that “the nearest Palestinian village, Jalud, is 2 kilometers away as the crow flies.”

Solberg added that the state still welcomes any legitimate claimant, “but, so far, there is no one with claims to those lands.”

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