Israel's High Court Asked to Veto New Settlement for Evacuees From Illegal Outpost

Opponents of the new settlement claim it will create an enclave of Palestinian owned land that will be unreachable to its owners

A bulldozer clears the land for the new settlement, Amichai, between Ramallah and Nablus in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, on June 20, 2017.
MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP

The head of a Palestinian village and an Israeli human-rights group appealed on Wednesday in the High Court of Justice against the creation of a new settlement for former residents of the illegal West Bank outpost of Amona.

In their petition, Yesh Din and Abdullah Tawfiq argue that an “enclave of private land” will be created inside the new settlement, and access will be barred to the land’s Palestinian owners. Earthmoving work began last week for the new community, Amichai, in the center of the northern West Bank near the settlement of Shiloh. Although only 40 families were evacuated from Amona, 100 housing units are planned for Amichai.

The petitioners want the High Court to rule that it is illegal to include within the jurisdiction of settlements privately owned lands that were expropriated or taken for use by the military. They asked the court to freeze the development of Amichai until the court makes a decision. Among the legal arguments presented is a lack of transparency in the way jurisdiction is declared.

In a separate case, the High Court is hearing a petition against a law allowing the retroactive expropriation of Palestinian land for settlements.