Court Gives Demolish-Don’t-Seal Order for Ofra Houses

A view of Ofra, as seen from Amona earlier this month. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

The Israeli High Court swept aside a petition from residents of the Ofra outpost seeking to invoke the new Regulation Law, along with a request that their homes be sealed but not destroyed, according to media reports on Monday.

The families had been hoping that a solution could eventually be found to enable them to return to the nine homes, thus justifying an order to seal but not destroy them.

The judges’ ruling upheld the standing order for demolition, based on their determination that the land is owned by Palestinians.

Meanwhile, the army made preparations for the evacuation on Tuesday. Checkpoints were set up in the east Binyamin area to keep out activists who want to protest and interfere with the evacuation, as happened in Amona.

On Monday, police forces cleared teenagers out of one of the homes, where nobody is currently residing, which might have been used as a focal point of protest. Ofra’s youth coordinator helped avert a confrontation between them and police, persuading the young people to leave voluntarily, according to Arutz Sheva.