Amona residents push for new town in Samaria

Former Amona residents set up protest tent outside Knesset demanding government fulfill obligations to build alternative town.

Yoel Domb,

Amona residents at new location near Shilo
Amona residents at new location near Shilo
Amona campaign

Amona residents who were evicted from their homes last week set up a protest tent near the Knesset Thursday demanding that the government fulfill its obligations and establish a new town for them.

Over the past few days Amona residents have staked out various locations in the Binyamin region in order to find an appropriate place to establish an alternative community. The options available are places which would be suitable for establishing a community on state land.

Two months ago Prime Minister Netanyahu committed in writing that if Amona would be evacuated, the government would act immediately to establish an alternative town for the evacuees by the end of March. He also committed originally that they would stay on the mountain where Amona is, but the court struck down the draft arrangement coordinated by the state near Amona.

After a number of discussions the residents of Amona chose a hill called "Redemption of Zion" situated northwest of the Shilo valley and some 10 km north of the original community, since it is an appropriate site for immediate construction. The residents who are at present residing in the Ofra boarding house in very difficult conditions came to Jerusalem and established the protest tent in which they will stay until the government fulfills its commitments and approves a new town.

"We have had our share of promises and disappointments. We have no interest in words but rather demand actions. After the difficult blow that we suffered and after the injustice of the destruction of our community, the proper corrective measure would be to establish a new town and reconstruct our community. We're not looking for better conditions or for easy solutions. We have come to live here in tents near the Knesset until the government fulfills its commitments. We have the strength to build and plant, and that will enable us to rise up from our sorrow and this is what the Jewish nation deserves after the tremendous damage which was done," said the residents.

On Sunday the government is set to approve the establishment of a new town, an act which has not taken place for decades.