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State asks High Court to delay Amona outpost demolition

After over a decade of legal wrangling, government seeks another seven-month extension to December evacuation order

This May 18, 2016 photo shows buildings in Amona, an Israeli settlement outpost in the West Bank, east of Ramallah. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
This May 18, 2016 photo shows buildings in Amona, an Israeli settlement outpost in the West Bank, east of Ramallah. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

The government has asked the High Court of Justice to delay the court-ordered evacuation later this year of a West Bank outpost built on private Palestinian land.

The state asked the court for a seven-month extension on Monday.

After over a decade of delays and legal wrangling, the High Court ruled in 2014 that the Amona outpost, which lies east of Ramallah, was built on private Palestinian land and must be demolished by December 25. The impending evacuation has threatened to destabilize Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition, which relies heavily on the pro-settlement right.

Pro-settler lawmakers have tried to find a legal loophole to keep the outpost in place, but Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has warned that attempting to legislate approval for the seizure of private lands would be unconstitutional.

Amona is the largest of about 100 West Bank outposts built without permission but generally tolerated by the government. These are in addition to 120 settlements that Israel considers legal.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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