Israel Sends Notice It Will Break Up Palestinian Lands Near Amona

Move intended to clear way to resettle Amona residents on areas officially defined as abandoned.

The illegal outpost of Amona, November, 2016.
Emil Salman

Israel’s Civil Administration has notified Palestinians claiming partial ownership of lands adjacent to the illegal Amona outpost of its intention to dismember the ownership partnership of their lands.

The state wants to split up these sections to allow the apparent rewarding of Palestinians who have not abandoned the lands, according to the state’s definition, and install the Amona settlers on the remaining Palestinian-owned land, which it considers abandoned. This legal move, which is being implemented in line with the agreement the state made with Amona residents, is controversial. Human rights groups will probably petition the High Court of Justice against it.

The notices went out in Palestinian newspapers, according to Civil Administration officials, but they said on Monday that they had already informed relevant people in the towns where the Palestinians claiming ownership live. “As we have said in past, any attempt to use private Palestinian lands to house the lawbreakers from Amona is illegal and improper,” one human rights organization commented.

The lands in question do not include parcel 38, which Civil Administration officials originally had in mind for relocating the illegal outpost, after Palestinians claimed ownership to over 90 percent of its area. Parcel 38 was at the heart of the agreement with Amona settlers, but now it looks like it will be impossible to divide it up. The parcel was allocated to the Binyamin Regional Council before Palestinians had filed objections to building on it. The attorney general has ordered the council not to build on the land, in wake of attempts to bring heavy equipment to the area.