Amona is most likely going to be evacuated on December 25 as was scheduled about two years ago.
The political and legal forces pushing in that direction are likely stronger than those trying to save Amona.
But what if the currently-debated Legalizations Bill passes or what if Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit’s Monday night suggestion of slightly moving the Amona settlers to an abandoned area nearby for eight months goes forward? How would this impact Israeli leaders and settlement leaders before the International Criminal Court? The ICC has been preliminary examining alleged war crimes in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since January 2015 when it recognized Palestine as a state over vehement Israeli objections.
Though most attention has focused on whether the ICC will open full criminal investigations relating to the IDF’s conduct in the 2014 Gaza war, it is also deciding whether to criminally investigate the Israeli settlement enterprise.
Israeli politicians renew push to retroactively legalize 2,000 settler homes
(MK Hotovely on legality of settlement resolution)
The scenarios need to be played out step by step to see how the ICC may react.
Firstly, regarding the Legalizations Bill scenario, the Knesset would need to pass the bill over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s objections.
If it did pass, the December 25 evacuation date would temporarily be invalid, as suddenly Amona and around 2,000 other currently-unauthorized homes on private Palestinian land in the West Bank would all have been retroactively legalized.
But this would likely be just another delay like the failed attempt to get the High Court of Justice to postpone the December 25 evacuation for more talks on voluntary relocation with the Amona settlers.
When the settlers of Amona and Netanyahu recently asked the High Court to indefinitely delay the evacuation of the Amona outpost beyond December 25, they had not learned the lesson of the settlers of Migron.
The Migron settlers and Netanyahu attempted the exact same thing, but, rightly or wrongly, were eventually evacuated in September 2012.
The High Court was not going to be an address that would save Amona.
The Legalizations Bill would remove the most immediate hoop to keeping the Amona outpost intact.
A 2005 government-sponsored study sealed the fate of Migron, Amona and others, as illegal outposts by categorizing them as such.
The Legalizations Bill is an attempt to realize the 2011 Edmund Levy Report goals of overriding the 2005 report.
The Levy Report, like the Legalizations Bill, offered to legalize outposts which were retroactively unauthorized on a range of grounds, such as indirect government authorization by facilitating outpost’ infrastructure and the absence of concrete competing claims to the land.
In Migron, the High Court ignored attempts to pressure the government with political threats or allusions that the Right may not be able to control violent responses from some of those being evacuated. Likewise it was also going to be ignored in Amona and will be ignored in the future.
Right or wrong, conventional solid sounding legal arguments, such as that there is no concrete Palestinian claimant to “private property,” that Palestinian claimants have shoddy evidence or that their evidence …read more