A-G approves 'absentee property' solution for Amona

Avichai Mandelblit states that absentee property can be used as a temporary solution for Amona, but the Regulation Law would invalidate it.

Nitsan Keidar,

Avichai Mandelblit
Avichai Mandelblit
Amit Shabi/POOL/Flash 90

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit on Monday submitted a legal opinion offering a temporary solution for the residents of Amona, which is slated for demolition by December 25.

The legal opinion relates to the possibility of moving the residents of Amona to temporary structures on three plots located north of the community.

The solution is a temporary one, for a period of about eight months, and will move the residents to property defined as "absentee property", meaning assets granted to the state of Israel which originally belonged to individuals who fled to the territory of a hostile nation during the 1948 War of Independence.

The solution is based on a 1998 legal opinion by then-Military Advocate General, Uri Shoham, who opined that absentee property may be used under circumstances of urgent public need.

Mandelblit stated that the temporary solution will only be valid until such a time that the Knesset passes the Regulation Law, at which point the situation will no longer be considered urgent and the Defense Ministry would be required to immediately vacate the plots.

The absentee property solution for Amona is the solution which is the preference of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has been pushing for this solution and last week announced the creation of a special committee for this purpose.

Mandelblit’s new legal opinion comes hours after it was reported that Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman are pulling out all the stops to prevent the passage of the Regulation Law, which is supported by the Jewish Home party.

According to Haaretz, Netanyahu and Liberman expressed concern in a cabinet meeting Sunday that the passage of the Regulation Law could encourage the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to launch an investigation against Israel.

Netanyahu and Liberman reportedly attacked Jewish Home chairman, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who is one of the bill's primary proponents.

They also said that passing the bill could encourage U.S. President Barack Obama to take action against Israel at the UN during his final days in office.

Bennett, for his part, said that he would be willing to compromise if real alternatives which can be implemented are found.