[JURIST] Israel’s Supreme Court [official website] ruled Friday to demolish a Jewish settlement at Amona in West Bank. The ruling resulted from a lawsuit [International Business Times report] brought decades ago by Palestinians who claimed to own the land to the settlement, which has been deemed “one of the oldest and most contentious Jewish settlement outposts in the West Bank.” The court agreed early on that the land belonged to the group of Palestinians and ordered the settlement demolished in 2012, but granted a number of extensions on the date of demolition. As a result of the ruling, approximately 300 residents of the settlement will need to move within the next two years.
In 2006 the Israeli Supreme Court rejected [JURIST report] residents’ appeal of the ruling in favor of the Palestinian group and police forcibly evacuated the settlement at Amona, and demolished nine houses illegally built on Palestinian land. As Israeli troops evacuated the Amona settlement during that time, civilians clashed with police through violent protests. In recent months attacks between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory have led to the deaths of hundreds of civilians, prompting the UN and the international community to call for an end to the conflict. In November UN human rights experts suggested [JURIST report] that the Israeli government’s use of house demolition as a punitive measure in response to alleged acts of violence by Palestinians end immediately. In September UN experts stated [JURIST report] that there has not been a single child in the Gaza Strip area not affected by the ongoing conflict. In March another UN human rights expert called on Israel [JURIST report] to cease all settlement activity and immediately withdraw settlers from Palestinian territories. In August UN Special Rapporteur on the Palestinian Territories occupied since 1967 [official website] formally requested access [JURIST report] to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory to gather first-hand information into the human rights situation in Gaza.