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West Bank

West Bank Amona outpost residents accept relocation deal

Residents of the flashpoint West Bank outpost have agreed to a compromise deal with the Israeli government. The deal follows a Supreme Court ruling that the outpost was built on private Palestinian land.

Some 40 families are due to be relocated after residents in an unauthorized West Bank outpost voted to accept an Israeli government deal on Sunday. The compromise deal was offered after an all-night meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"Until dawn this morning we made very great efforts to reach an agreed solution on Amona," Netanyahu said at Israel's weekly cabinet meeting.

As part of the new agreement, the government promised to build 52 homes and public buildings for them at two nearby locations.

Israel's Supreme Court determined that the settlement is built upon land that belongs to Palestinians from surrounding West Bank villages and ordered that the families and their 200-plus children evacuate the outpost by December 25.

Netanyahu will now need to ask the court for a stay of execution, most likely for 30 days.

Amona is the largest unauthorized settlement erected in the West Bank. There are around 100 such settlements which are generally tolerated by the Israeli government although they were constructed without permission.

All Israeli settlements located in the West Bank are deemed illegal under international law, but Israel differentiates between ones it has approved and ones it has not.

Earlier Sunday, a crowd gathered at the outpost and vowed to resist a forced evacuation.

Violence broke out during the first attempt at clearing Amona ten years ago, injuring over 200 protesters and 50 security forces.

rs/rc (AP, AFP, dpa)