JERUSALEM (AP) – The Israeli Supreme Court postponed before dawn Wednesday the evacuation of part of a West Bank settler outpost after residents there agreed to move nine homes to a nearby settlement, settlers and Israeli media reported.
About 6,000 Israeli security forces had mobilized to forcibly remove hundreds of opponents to the demolition of the structures at the Amona outpost, which was slated to begin Wednesday. The army said it expected the resistance to the demolition to be violent.
The homes, like dozens of other settler outposts, were built by Jewish settlers without Israeli authorization on disputed West Bank land in an attempt to prevent it from being transferred to the Palestinians in any future Israeli withdrawal from the territory.
Just as the court-ordered demolition was slated to begin, settlers agreed in writing to move the homes to state land in the nearby settlement of Ofra, Army Radio and settlers said.
In reaction to the compromise, the Supreme Court ordered a halt to the evacuation of the buildings, the radio and settlers said. It was slated to hold a hearing on the matter later Wednesday, the radio and settlers said.
Israel committed in the internationally-backed “road map” peace plan to dismantle about two dozen settler outposts.
The nine buildings are built on Palestinian-owned land. Several more, temporary buildings exist but on what Israel says is state-owned land.
The Palestinians hope to set up a state in areas Israel captured in 1967, which include the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.