PA and Peace Now condemn new town for Amona residents

Palestinian officials and radical leftists condemn security cabinet's unanimous approval of new town for former residents of Amona.

AFP and Arutz Sheva ,

Hanan Ashrawi
Hanan Ashrawi
Issam Rimawi/Flash 90

The PA and radical-left NGO Peace Now condemned on Friday the government decision to build a new community for Amona residents after the Israeli cabinet approved the building of the first officially sanctioned new Jewish community in Judea and Samaria in more than 20 years.

The security cabinet gave its unanimous backing to the new town late on Thursday.

Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi said the move showed "blatant disregard for Palestinian human rights".

"Israel is more committed to appeasing its illegal settler population than to abiding by the requirements for stability and a just peace," she said.

Similarly, Peace Now said the announcement of the new "settlement" showed that the government was leading Israelis and Palestinians towards "apartheid." It did not explain how a new Jewish community causes apartheid, since it is the PA which has stated repeatedly that if there is a two-state peace agreement no Jews will be allowed to live in a "Palestinian State."

The new town will be built near the former Amona, which was razed in February in accordance with an Israeli High Court order, which ruled in favor of an anti-Zionist NGO's claim that the land was private without any actual owners turning to the courts and without allowing for compensation instead of destruction.

It will be the first entirely new community in Judea and Samaria that an Israeli government has approved in more than 20 years. A building freeze imposed by former president Barack Obama prevented most expansion within existing communities as well.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been in discussions with the Trump administration on how to move ahead with further construction.

Trump has pledged unstinting support for Israel but has also urged Netanyahu to "hold back on settlements for a little bit" while his administration looks for ways to restart Israeli-Palestinian talks.

Netanyahu had previously pledged to build a new town for the Amona residents evicted in February.

"I promised to create a new community and we are going to respect that commitment and create it today," he said ahead of Thursday's security cabinet meeting.