The state asked the High Court to delay the evacuation of the Amona outpost in the West Bank by six months due to the forthcoming national elections, Israel Radio reported on Monday.
The reason for the postponement, according to the state’s lawyers, is that the holding of elections in January significantly changes the circumstances of the evacuation. In addition, the state said, it needed to review a claim by settlers that they purchased some of the land the outpost stands on from its Palestinian owners.
The state had previously told the court that it would remove the settlers and dismantle the outpost before the end of the year.
The Yesh Din nongovernmental organization, which assists Palestinians in their land claim court petitions, said that the state’s position was particularly disgraceful because law enforcement should not be dependent on a political timetable. Yesh Din added that while the state’s behavior is not surprising, it is worrying that the attorney general is willing to justify it.
The current outpost was set up on the site of a previous outpost of the same name. The original Amona outpost was evacuated in 2006 and saw some of the heaviest resistance by residents and others against army forces sent to remove them. Some 200 people were injured in violent clashes with security forces, turning the site into a symbol of resistance among radical settlers.