A three-judge Supreme Court panel — Court President Miriam Naor, and Justices Esther Hayut and Hanan Melcer, on Monday rejected unanimously an appeal by the state to postpone the evacuation and razing of the community of Amona in Samaria, demanding that the demolition be carried out as scheduled, on December 25, and accusing the Netanyahu cabinet of engaging in an empty ritual of postponing the inevitable.
“The desire to be considerate of the residents of Amona must not supercede the need to enforce the law and to protect private property,” the panel ruled, disregarding the fact that the Arab claimants do not possess verifiable proof of ownership, and, in fact, had not even been aware of “owning” the land before anti-Zionist NGOs such as Peace Now and Yesh Din went looking for them.
The court noted that it is ignoring a claim by the GSS that an attempt to evacuate Amona would result in extreme acts of violence, similar to the evacuation of February, 2006, when police and residents clashed violently over Amona. The court stressed that fear of violence should not be the determining factor in carrying out the law.
Of course, fear of violence has been accepted by the high court to justify preventing Jews from praying on the Temple Mount.
The Monday ruling comes one day after the Government legislative committee has approved unanimously the Arrangements Act, a bill that, in its newest format, would keep possession of the disputed land in Amona in Arab possession, but would compel the same Arab claimants to accept monitory compensation for the part of the land which was seized by the Israeli government for the purpose of creating a Jewish settlement.
Should the new bill be fast tracked through the Knesset plenum and committee, it could become law in time for December 25, rendering the court’s ruling moot. The court will likely strike down the new law, at which point the government would either be forced to evacuate Amona — possibly at the cost of a collapsed coalition — or strike back at the high court.David Israel