Children playing in the small Jewish community of Amona. (AP/Oded Balilty) (AP/Oded Balilty)
Amona

The government reached a compromise agreement with the residents of Amona, who agreed to evacuate their homes in favor of being forcefully ejected before December 25th deadline.

Following intense efforts by Education Minister and Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party head Naftali Bennett and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Sunday afternoon the residents of Amona, a small community in Samaria that was ordered to evacuate their homes, voted 42-25, with two abstentions, in favor of a new offer to settle the issue.

Amona, built in the 1990s, has been fighting a 2014 court order to be evacuated by December 25 because it was allegedly built on private Palestinian land. To date, no individual or group has laid claim to the land.

According to the agreement reached Sunday, 24 of Amona’s 42 families will to be relocated to nearby plots on the same hill where Amona currently stands. Those plots, located on unclaimed land, would be incorporated as state land through the Absentee Property Law.

The previous proposal would have allowed only 12 families would have had permission to relocate to the nearby plots according to the previous deal.

“After 20 years of pioneering settlement, against all odds and after two long years, we have decided to suspend our struggle at this time and to accept the decision of the government to build 52 houses and public buildings for Amona. These buildings will serve the needs of residents and the community,” the residents stated, TPS reported.

“We will continue to stand guard and to follow the state’s compliance with the commitments it has made to build homes and public buildings in Amona. We thank the thousands of families, teenagers and activists who came to Amona in recent days. In your merit, Amona will remain on the map and with God’s help will continue to grow and flourish.”

“We’ll keep a close watch and see if the state lives up to its promises to build homes and new public buildings in Amona,” declared Amona representative Ofer Inbar. “If the state doesn’t stand by its promises, we won’t hesitate to renew our efforts on behalf of our town and all of the Land of Israel. Amona will not fall again.”

Housing and Construction Minister  Yoav Galant, whose car was set upon by teenagers in Amona when he visited Sunday morning, dismissed the incident as “pebbles against a tank,” The Jerusalem Post reported.

According to the Post, “Galant said he was received well by the Amona residents, and that his message to them was simple: “It is forbidden for there to be a split in Israel, forbidden that they harm IDF soldiers in any way. We are a state governed by law, we will preserve the law and obey the dictates of the court.”

“We will build the settlements and continue to build them throughout Judea and Samaria,” Galant pledged.

Earlier in the day, at the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that “in recent months, especially in the past few weeks and the last few days, and yesterday, we have been making very great efforts to reach an agreed-upon solution in Amona. We have held dozens of discussions and submitted very many proposals, some I would say out-of-the-box, very creative proposals. We did so out of goodwill and love for settlement; love for settlement, indeed so.

“There has not been a government that showed more concern for settlement in the Land of Israel and no government will show more concern. We are making every possible effort,” the Israeli leader affirmed.

By: United with Israel Staff

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