Deputy FM: Build new town in Samaria immediately

Deputy Foreign Minister Hotovely meets women of Amona who currently still live in school dormitory after being evicted in February.

Hezki Baruch,

Tzipi Hotovely meets the women of Amona
Tzipi Hotovely meets the women of Amona
Hezki Baruch

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) on Monday met the women of Amona, all of whom are currently living with their families in a school dormitory in the neighboring town of Ofra.

Amona's residents were expelled from their homes in February 2017, and the town was completely destroyed. Since then, the residents have been living in a dormitory while they wait for the promised caravans to be built in a new location.

"I came here to meet the women of Amona, who are going through such a difficult period," Hotovely said. "It's not only difficult for them - it's difficult for their entire families, who are living in a place which is not suited for family life."

"This needs to end with the building of a new town, as the government promised it would do.

"The government can choose whether to build a new town quickly, or whether to do it the regular [bureaucracy-delayed] way, which takes two years. I am sure that we need to build the new town as quickly as possible, so that the families will have a future instead of living out of suitcases.

"We have an obligation toward Amona's residents, and we must do everything we can to ensure that a new, permanent, town is built as quickly as possible."

In response to Arutz Sheva's question about how the Israeli government had not learned a lesson from the 2005 expulsion from Gush Katif, when homes were destroyed before proper facilities were prepared for their residents, Hotovely said, "There's no comparison. [Gush Katif] was a bad decision made by the Israeli government, and we are still paying the price today."

"Here, we're talking about a town recognized as valuable by the Israeli government. The government wants Amona on the map.

"I am asking you please not to compare Amona to Gush Katif."

"We are a right-wing government, and we will do everything we can to ensure there will be no more expulsions," Hotovely added. "We need to implement the Levy Report." The Levy Report, written by a committee headed by late Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy, proved that Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria is permissible under international law. The government, which commissioned the report, did not formally adopt it for political reasons.

"We passed the Regulation Law, and we fought for it, and I think that the settlement of Israel will continue to flourish."

Before meeting with the Amona women, Hotovely toured the dormitory which houses the families. Visiting the rooms of three different families, she saw the difficult reality in which 7 children live in a 12 meter room, in which they have to live, play, do homework, sleep, and eat.

Hotovely also met Oriyah Yahav, a National Service volunteer who lives in one room with her six brothers; Noam, a boy who celebrated his bar mitzvah on Monday morning; and Moriah Shaag, who gave birth to her son Lavi after her home was destroyed. She listened to stories of how the families are dealing with the hardships, including the lack of privacy and the impact it has on marriage and family life.