Illegal settlers prepare to 'delay' eviction from Israeli settlement

Illegal settlers prepare to 'delay' eviction from Israeli settlement
2 min read
18 December, 2016
Hundreds of settlers and their supporters are preparing to resist against a police eviction of the illegal Amona settlement in the occupied West Bank in the next few days.
Protestors have blocked roads to the illegal settlement [AFP]
Hundreds of protesters arrived on Saturday at the Israeli settlement of Amona, which is illegally located on Palestinian land, ahead of a planned eviction by Israeli police.

Dozens of police cars are currently positioned near the Amona settlement in the occupied West Bank, which must be closed down by December 25.

"Our goal is to delay the evacuation as much as possible so it won't be a matter of hours, but days, and we'll be remembered for it," said Amona Rabbi, Yair Frank.

"However, we cannot resort to violence; it will weaken us and our cause."

Protesters say they expect police will begin evacuating settlers in the next few days, but there is no definite date for the removal as the police will launch a surprise attack.

Israeli soldiers will monitor the situation, but will not become involved in any intervention.

Dozens of videos have been shared on social media, showing a large number of Israeli settlers and their supporters at Amona, singing and celebrating while they wait for eviction.

The government is expected to approve a $33.8 million project to destroy the nine houses built at Amona, compensate the settler residents and move them to another settlement nearby, Haaretz reports.

The settlers are expected to move to Shvut Rachel, another illegal settlement in the West Bank.

A 2005 report found that the government had been secretly and illegally using public money to sponsor settlers in illegal outposts such as Shvut Rachel.

Illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land is one of the biggest roadblocks in the fight for a peace agreement between the two parties.

Israel has frequently and persistently built illegal settlements on Palestinian land - which many settlers believe is actually part of Israeli land.

US Secretary of State, John Kerry, has routinely voiced his frustration with Israel over the settlements issue, calling it an "erosion" of the peace process.

"There's been an erosion over a period of time by virtue of this continued settlement process which narrows and narrows the capacity for peace."