'We hope it will pass this time'

MKs believe that a new version of the bill to save Amona will bypass issues that caused the Attorney General to reject the previous version.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Gadi Sharon, Amona Hasbara

MKs from the Jewish Home and Likud parties expressed renewed hope Wednesday that the new version of the bill to normalize Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria would be approved by the Attorney General.

The updated version of the bill states that when an Arab is able to prove ownership of land a Jewish town is built upon, the state will not expropriate the land and pay compensation to the landowner, as the previous version which Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit had disapproved of had stipulated. Rather, the new law states hat the government would lease the land from the landowner for a monthly fee. In the event of a political settlement in which Jews would be required to leave, such as a formal peace treaty, the Arab landowner would accept the land back.

Leasing the land would remove the legal obstacles to the continued existence of the communities there, essentially saving towns like Amona from destruction. This is not a new concept in Israel, where much of the land for homes is on long term leases from the Israel Lands Authority.

Another innovation of the new bill is a stipulation that Arab claims of land ownership would be heard by a committee which would examine the claims of the landowner and determine the usage fees to be paid to him. Until now, the Supreme Court heard both sides but did not have to examine the claims as lower courts do.

The new bill has already received the approval of the Knesset legal adviser, and the MKs supporting the bill believe that the Attorney General will find that it does not contravene international law.

The MKs who initiated the new bill hope that it will be brought up for discussion this coming Sunday and voted into law as soon as possible.