Residents of Amona prepare to fight for their homes

The beleaguered residents of the community of Amona are demanding action after an agreement they had with the government fell through. 

The residents of Amona will convene an emergency meeting on Tuesday after declaring they are no longer bound by the agreement reached last month with the government to peacefully leave their homes.

Amona, built in the 1990s, is under a 2014 court order to be evacuated by February 8 because it was allegedly built on private Palestinian land.

According to the agreement reached with the government, 24 of Amona’s 42 families would to be relocated to nearby plots on the same hill where Amona now stands. The government would construct replacement homes at the new site and build a new neighborhood for the remaining 18 families at a separate location in Samaria.

These replacement plots, thought to have been located on unclaimed land, would be incorporated as state land through the Absentee Property Law.

However, it has now become apparent that there are Palestinians claiming that these replacement plots belong to them.

The High Court is delaying implementation of the plan. Justice Salim Jubran issued an interim order on Monday preventing the state from carrying out any construction at the designated plots. The interim order was issued in response to a petition submitted by the head of the council of the nearby Palestinian village of Silwad. The petition is to be brought before a High Court panel as soon as possible.

Following failure to implement the agreement signed last month, Amona residents are demanding a resubmission of the original Regulation Law; otherwise, the state will be forced to face their fierce resistance, they warned.

The proposed Regulation Law would provide a solution for the Amona and some 4,000 other homes in Judea and Samaria, situated on legally contested land, by giving them legal status. However, Amona was removed from the most recent version of the bill due to concerns of some coalition members that its legalization would undermine the authority of Israel’s High Court of Justice, which had ordered the demolition of the small community.

The residents noted that as of Monday, no work had been done to prepare the replacement homes. With the evacuation of Amona slated for February, it is virtually impossible for the government to fulfill the agreement.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News