Cabinet approves Amona replacement town

“It’s too early to be happy,” said an Amona spokesman regarding the approval of a new town to house the evictees.

Four months after the last of Amona’s 42 families were evicted by several thousand police from their hilltop settlement in the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council, and nearly two months after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet unanimously voted on March 30 to approve the establishment of a new town in Samaria to house the evictees, the Civil Administration on Sunday approved jurisdiction for a replacement town.

The plan, given the green light by IDF Gen. Yoav (Poli) Mordechai – who has served as the Coordinator for Government Activities in Judea and Samaria (COGAT) since 2014 – calls for the new community to be built on state land in the Shiloh Valley.

However, the 200 people evicted from Amona are reportedly not satisfied with the development. They are seeking that the general order the establishment of a temporary town until their permanent home is built.

Amona spokesman Avichai Buaron said in response to the decision: “Unfortunately, it’s too early to be happy. This decision is another step in the long and tiring bureaucratic planning process that could take many years. We say again: Only a general’s order for the establishment of a temporary residence can take us out of the distress in which we find ourselves,” he emphasized, according to Ynet.

“The school year will begin in several more months, and we and our children don’t know what to expect for next year. As of now, we have been stuck in a youth dormitory for four months already, in difficult conditions and with an unclear future.

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“We turn to the Prime Minister and call on him to honor himself and us, and enable us to establish a new town as we agreed with him. According to the agreement, work on the new town was supposed to have begun by the end of March. As of today – two months later – there is no trace of the beginning of work.

“We expect the Prime Minister to instruct the Attorney General to issue a general’s order that will enable an immediate beginning to construction. Only then will we know that the Prime Minister has not broken the agreement with us and that the new town will, indeed, be built.”

Amona derives its name from the Book of Joshua 18:24, which mentions Kfar Ha’Ammoni, literally, the Village of the Amonite. Until its destruction earlier this year, Amona was the largest of approximately 100 socalled wildcat or unauthorized outposts erected in Judea and Samaria without government permission but nevertheless supplied with power from the Israel Electric Corporation.

Amona, built in the 1990s, stretched out over a rugged hilltop near the officially approved town of Ofra.

Palestinians charged part of Amona was illegally built on privately-owned Arab land, although they provided no evidence. All attempts to resolve the land ownership issue failed.

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By: Gil Zohar, World Israel News