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Photo: Mati Amar, TPS
Security forces in the 9th house in Ofra
Photo: Mati Amar, TPS
Eviction of the nine Ofra houses commences ahead of time
IDF and security forces have begun the process of evicting residents of nine homes in Ofra, two days before the scheduled move. Their efforts are focused on an empty house, in which protesters planned to barricade themselves.

The High Court of Justice ruled that residents of nine houses in Ofra should evacuate their houses by March 8, and the police have been preparing for it: members of the West Bank District Police Nationalist Crime Department started preventively detaining youths in preparation for the approaching evacuation. Police say more detentions are expected.

 

 

In February 2015, the High Court ruled that the buildings were built without construction permits, on privately-owned Palestinian land. The court originally ordered the homes to be demolished by February 8, 2017, but granted a one-month delay on January 25 to give security forces extra time to plan the eviction.

 

Security forces in the 9th house (Photo: Mati Amar, TPS)
Security forces in the 9th house (Photo: Mati Amar, TPS)

 

TPS sources in Ofra say IDF troops have seized control of the southern-most of the nine homes in preparation for evicting residents. The building is the only one that was not occupied and was expected to serve as a focal point for teenage protesters during the eviction process.

 

Security forces have started confiscating equipment at the site and preventively detaining youths who might cause problems.

 

Dozens of youths coming to Ofra (Photo: Mati Amar, TPS)
Dozens of youths coming to Ofra (Photo: Mati Amar, TPS)

 

Most families have already packed their belongings and all of them have an alternative place of residence.

 

Concomitantly, Ofra residents distributed a code of conduct ahead of the evacuation, spreading messages of calm. "We will not use metal bars and we will not barricade ourselves. Our protest will find expression in each home in accordance with the respective family's instructions and their legitimate choice to welcome into their home anyone they wish," stated the code of conduct.

 

Ofra homes to be demolished (Photo: Ofra youth)
Ofra homes to be demolished (Photo: Ofra youth)

 

At the same time, the Amona residents continue to reside in hostel-like structures in Ofra, after being evacuated from their settlement, but the establishment of an alternative place of residence has been delayed.

 

Amona evacuees have sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Naftali Bennett in which they raise the concern that the land set aside for them in Ofra, which is meant to be temporary, will become permanent and a new community will not be founded as was promised.

 

Andrew Friedman/TPS contributed to this report.

 


פרסום ראשון: 02.26.17, 22:28
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