JERUSALEM – Israeli police began on Tuesday the partial evacuation of the Israeli settlement Nativ Ha’Avot in the West Bank on the order of Israel’s High Court of Justice.
The unauthorized houses were built on private property belonging to Palestinians.
Hundreds of Israelis, most of whom were teenagers, gathered early Tuesday to oppose demolition, while Israeli border police blocked them to avoid possible clashes.
“After 17 years of theft, evasions, delays, and manipulation, justice will be served as the private land on which the Nativ Ha’Avot outpost was built will be vacated, in line with the High Court of Justice’s ruling,” Israeli NGO Peace Now said in a statement on the eve of the eviction.
“We hope these evictions will send a clear message that crime does not pay, and that anyone who builds on land without authorization or even purchasing it first will ultimately be compelled to leave,” it added.
Peace Now, which filed a petition to the court in 2008 requesting the evacuation of the entire outpost, calling for the return of the Palestinian owners to their land.
According to the NGO, the court ruled in 2016 in favor of the appeal to dismantle 15 houses by March 6, 2018, a date which was delayed due to settlers’ opposition, who “put massive pressure on the government, demanding compensation and an alternative solution at the public’s expense.”