Security forces prepare to evacuate Amona

Amona residents discussed details of final deal after government sent detailed draft on Tuesday night, plan to announce decision tonight.

Uzi Baruch , | updated: 3:31 PM

Amona
Amona
Photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90

Security forces are preparing for the evacuation of Amona following a decision by the residents of the town not to respond to the proposal submitted to them yesterday.

Amona residents gathered at 9 AM on Wednesday morning to discuss the final draft of the government's deal, after receiving the draft on Tuesday night.

After several hours of discussions the residents suspended the meeting temporarily without reaching a decision. They will resume the discussions this evening and hope to announce their final decision on whether to accept the proposal or fight to keep their homes exactly where they are.

The deal was agreed upon by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Jewish Home Ministers Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit.

The agreement requires Amona's residents to leave their homes by the date required by the Israeli Supreme Court, or by a future date which the Supreme Court will set if they agree to the government's request to delay the expulsion. In return, the government will immediately begin work on eleven portable buildings in Lot 38, which has an area of six dunams. In addition, the government will build four portable buildings in the lots immediately next to Amona, and will give them permits for two years.

During the two-year period, the possibility of settling the area long-term will be discussed, and the discussion process will be completed. The government will also turn to Jerusalem Magistrates Court, requesting they remove owners' names from the property, since the land is "absentee property" whose owners have not recognized or paid taxes on it for decades. When the process is completed and it is clear how much land belongs to the new Amona, professional planners will be called in to plan a long-term town on the spot, after which the Attorney General will examine the possibility of legalizing it.

The government will give the lot to the Binyamin Regional Council, along with permits to build for two years, instead of the regular eight months.

The building and preparations are expected to take five weeks.

Building permits which were given for two initial years will be extended, to allow the process to be completed.

The government also agreed to ask the court for a 30-day extension, in order to allow the preparation of temporary structures to house Amona's residents in the neighboring town of Ofra. The government also agreed to work to ensure there are no gaps and all construction is completed on schedule.

If Amona's residents agree to this plan, the government will speak to the court and explain that Amona's expulsion and rebuilding will be done peacefully, at the time set by the political echelon and according to the Supreme Court's ruling.

On Tuesday, just after the issue reached an impasse, the various sides managed to come to the current agreement, which was presented to Amona's residents the same evening.

The completed plan is now waiting on residents' agreement.



top