Nationalist MKs looking to save the embattled Samarian community of Amona are examining the possibility of using absentee property laws to protect the town from demolition.
Amona, which is slated for evacuation by year’s end, was the site of a violent confrontation between security forces and demonstrators in February 2006, after a Supreme Court order for the demolition of nine homes. Over 300 people were wounded in the evacuation, most of them peaceful protestors.
The Supreme Court has since ordered the destruction of the remaining homes in Amona, which it claims was built on private Arab land.
While former Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon offered to build the residents a replacement community next to the existing town of Shilo, some in the nationalist camp hope Yaalon’s successor, Avigdor Liberman, will aid in their campaign to help Amona gain full recognition.
The Absentee Property Law of 1950, allows the state to assume control of property owned by individuals who left the country during the War of Independence and took up residence in an enemy state.
A number of MKs from the Likud and Jewish Home parties are pursuing the possible use of the law to protect Amona, allowing the land to be transferred to state control, enabling the government to fully legalize the community and remove the threat of demolition.
On Friday, Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben Dahan visited Amona along with a number of Jewish Home activists.
According to the Ben Dahan, the Defense Minister was actively looking for a solution which would obviate the need for an evacuation.
“Defense Minister Liberman has issued a directive to the relevant officials to make every possible effort to prevent the evacuation of Amona.”
“I’m certain,” Ben Dahan continued, “that the Prime Minister has also issued a clear directive to the same effect to prevent Amona’s evacuation. I’m making every effort to ensure that that happens [a solution for Amona].”