An Israeli human rights watchdog hailed as unprecedented Tuesday a court order for the state to pay compensation to Palestinians prevented from farming their land by a wildcat Jewish settlement.
The court awarded six Palestinian landowners a total of 300,000 shekels ($85,700) in compensation for their losses from the presence on their land in the northern West Bank of the Amona settlement outpost, which even the Israeli government regards as illegal.
The court found that despite the outpost’s lack of legal status it had received funding for infrastructure from several state institutions since 2005, the Yesh Din rights group said.
The court further ordered that if the settlers have not been removed from the plaintiffs’ land by 2015, the state pay a further 48,000 shekels ($13,500/63,015 euros) in damages.
Yesh Din said the state now needed to honour the court’s judgement by evacuating the settlers.
“Now what is required is evacuation and we’re going to fight on until that is achieved,” it said.
Amona is one of more than 100 wildcat settlement outposts built without Israeli government permission.
Israel has in the past given undertakings to dismantle them.
The international community regards all Israeli settlements built on occupied Palestinian land as illegal, whether or not they have government blessing.