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Israel lets settlers spend Passover at former outpost where Palestinian landowners remain excluded

Israeli troops and Israeli settlers can be seen in Hebron during Passover [Wisam Hashlamoun/Apaimages]
Israeli troops and Israeli settlers can be seen in Hebron during Passover [Wisam Hashlamoun/Apaimages]

Israeli occupation authorities allowed settlers to celebrate Passover at the site of the former Amona outpost in the northern West Bank, despite the fact that the location is a closed military zone.

According to Haaretz, the site “became a recreation spot for Jewish settlers during the Passover holiday”, even though the Palestinians who own the land on the hill “are still not allowed access”.

The outpost was evacuated in 2017 on orders of the Israeli Supreme Court, who ruled it had been established on privately-owned Palestinian land.

As reported by Haaretz, shortly before the removal of settlers from Amona, “the army issued the order barring access to the site by civilians”, an order “now strictly enforced to keep Palestinian landowners from the nearby villages of Ein Yabrud and Silwad from farming their land at the site”.

READ: How can Israelis celebrate Passover while denying Palestinian Christians the right to travel? 

The order has not been enforced, however, “when it comes to Jews, who are able to access the site fairly easily on a road from the nearby settlement of Ofra”.

“It’s clear that after years during which the state got used to conducting itself in cooperation with the settlers in stealing land in the West Bank, it’s hard to wean itself off,” Dror Etkes of settlement watchdog Kerem Navot told Haaretz.

A Palestinian petition to the Supreme Court demanding access to their land at the site is still pending.

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