Israel orders Amona settlement evacuation

Israel orders Amona settlement evacuation

The West Bank settlement's demolition has been ordered, as the IDF gives soon-to-be former residents 48 hours to leave their homes

The Amona outpost
The Amona outpost

Israel’s military has ordered residents of a West Bank settlement to evacuate the area within 48 hours, days before a deadline for its demolition that threatens to destabilise the government.

The Ynet news website and other outlets reported the army posted a notice at the entrance to the Amona outpost on Tuesday.

Ynet ran a picture of the order that said “After 48 hours nobody will enter or reside in the area.” The military had no immediate comment.

Israel’s Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that Amona was built on private Palestinian land and must be demolished.

It later set February 8 as the final date for it to be destroyed. The court is reportedly set to rule on a state relocation plan later in the day.

Amona is the largest of about 100 unauthorised outposts erected in the West Bank without permission but generally tolerated by the Israeli government.

The outpost, built in the 1990s, stretches out over a rugged, grassy hilltop and looks out across the valley onto Palestinian villages.

In 2006, Israeli police demolished nine homes at Amona, setting off clashes pitting settlers and their supporters against police and soldiers.

Several dozen trailers have remained and the outpost has become a symbol for the settlement movement.

Its fate has threatened to rupture Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s narrow coalition, which is dominated by ultra-nationalists who support settlements.

Mr Netanyahu has struggled to find a balance between appeasing his settler constituents and respecting Israel’s Supreme Court, which has drawn the ire of hard-liners by ruling against the settlers.

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