Amona residents agree to evacuate their homes, avoid confrontation with IDF

The beleaguered residents of the community of Amona agreed to evacuate their homes in favor of being forcefully ejected by the IDF before the deadline of December 25.

After rejecting an earlier government proposal, the residents of Amona, who have been fighting a court order to evacuate their homes, on Sunday afternoon voted 42-25, with two abstentions, in favor of a new offer to settle the issue.

Amona, a small community in Samaria built in the 1990s, is under 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 – following intense efforts by Education Minister and Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party head Naftali Bennett and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reach a compromise – 24 of Amona’s 42 families will to be relocated to nearby plots on the same hill where Amona now stands. Those plots, located on unclaimed land, would be incorporated as state land through the Absentee Property Law.

Only 12 families would have been permitted to relocate to the nearby plots according to a previous deal that was rejected.

“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 Amona 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,” they added.

Earlier Sunday, 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…

“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.

“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.

By: World Israel News Staff