Israel’s High Court of Justice yesterday rejected a petition filed by Palestinian families proving their ownership of the land where Jewish settlers set up the illegal Avyatar outpost in the occupied West Bank, local media reported.
Twelve Palestinians from the village of Beita filed the petition to the Israeli court claiming rights to the land on which the illegal outpost was built.
According to the Times of Israel, the three-judge panel found that petitioners’ claim was “speculative”, claiming that there was “no basis” for the petitioners’ argument and that the outcome of the ongoing land survey would provide a final conclusion.
The paper also reported the judges saying that as the land survey is ongoing, it is impossible to determine what areas of the land, if any, are privately owned by Palestinians.
Meanwhile, the court noted that if any of the homes in the illegal outpost were found to have been built on privately owned land, they would be evacuated.
In May, Israeli occupation settlers flooded Jabal Abu Sbeih near the village of Beita in the occupied West Bank and established an illegal settlement outpost, which they named Eviatar. Palestinians launched protests against the move.
As the settlers attempted to legalise Eviatar, occupation authorities reached a deal that saw the illegal settlers leave the area, but none of their mobile homes removed, as the area would be made a makeshift military base until the land survey’s results are published.
All Israeli settlements and outposts in the occupied territories are illegal under international law.