Netanyahu promises ‘new settlement’ for Amona community

Netanyahu vows to fulfill his promise to “create a new settlement” for the former residents of Amona, who were evacuated from their homes in Samaria earlier this year. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to authorize a new location in Judea and Samaria for the former residents of Amona, which was demolished on February 1 in accordance with a court ruling finding the community to have been built on private property.

“I had promised from the start that I would create a new settlement,” Netanyahu told reporters during a meeting at his office with Slovakian President Andre Kiska on Thursday.

‘It seems to me that I made that commitment in December and I will keep it today,” Netanyahu continued, speaking a day before the reported deadline listed in the agreement with Amona’s residents. “There will be more details about this.”

Earlier in the day, a statement released on behalf of the former residents of Amona said that “if there is no decision to establish a new settlement today, it will be a violation of the agreement signed with us, a violation of a government commitment beyond the low public standard, and accordingly, agreements would not be worth the paper they are printed on.”

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Reports circulated in Israeli media last week that Netanyahu and his cabinet would move forward with the plan as part of an overall commitment to the Trump administration. According to the alleged agreement, construction of new homes in Judea and Samaria would be permitted only within existing “settlement blocs,” and a new community for the Amona residents would be established.

A senior Israeli official eventually denied such reports, insisting that “the reports concerning…any purported US demands of Israel in talks regarding the settlements are false.”

The residents of Amona stressed their opposition to such a trade-off.

“There is no connection between the construction of the new settlement and the discussion on construction in Judea and Samaria and the entire country,” they said in a statement. “There is an agreement and it must be fulfulled. Placing a paradoxical equation according to which a new settlement comes at the expense of construction is no less than manipulation.”

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News