Netanyahu to honor promise of new community for evacuated ‘settlers’

A senior aide to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated that the promise to build a new community for Amona’s residents would be honored in the wake of reports suggesting that Netanyahu would not fulfill his commitment. 

A senior aide in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said on Monday that there is no desire to renege on the commitment to build a new community for the former residents of Amona.

“There is absolutely no intention to violate the commitment that was made to the settlers of Amona,” the aide said. “Just today, his chief of staff Yoav Horowitz spoke with Avichai Baron and told him that every effort is being made to find an agreed-upon solution, and that we are not reneging on our commitment.”

The residents of Amona, a community that was located a short drive north of Jerusalem in the Binyamin region, were evacuated on February 1 in accordance with a ruling by Israel’s High Court of Justice in 2014 that found the community to have been built on private property. An alternative plan to relocate the residents on a nearby hilltop was also rejected by Israel’s High Court, which found that plot of land to be private property as well.

Various reports over the past few days suggested that Netanyahu would walk back his commitment to build a new community for the former residents of Amona, which would be located in Judea or Samaria, in light of President Donald Trump’s recent call for Israel “to hold back on settlements for a little bit.”

Read  Israel approves hostage deal proposed by US, may agree to permanent ceasefire

Before Netanyahu met on Monday with Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, a senior Israeli official told Israeli reporters that a mechanism for discussions with the Trump administration over Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria “will be set up when the prime minister returns from the Far East,” according to Israel’s Channel 2.

Netanyahu had informed his cabinet on Sunday that there would be a joint team with the Trump administration that would deal with Israeli policies in Judea and Samaria, despite the objections of members of his coalition.

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News