Israel's Supreme Court, meeting as the High Court of Justice, yesterday agreed to the state's request to extend the deadline for the evacuation of unauthorised settlement outpost Amona.
The 45-day extension is intended to facilitate, in the words of the court, a "peaceful evacuation", following "efforts that have recently been made to come to an agreed upon solution."
The previous deadline had been 25 December, but Amona's residents now have until 8 February to leave the outpost, which was established on privately-owned Palestinian land.
The court clarified that it was not passing judgement on the legality of a move to other land in the area; the Israeli government seeks to move some of the settlers to land in the same area, a move that remains blocked for the time being due to Palestinian legal challenges.
Israeli NGO Yesh Din commented: "The state is not concealing the fact that there is currently no plan for transferring the Amona settlers and therefore the only aim of a delay is to try to find how the law can be circumvented."