'If construction is delayed - the residents will go to Amichai'

Amona expellees, frustrated with the delay in building their new community, say they will move in before the holidays.

Hezki Baruch ,

Minister Uri Ariel visits Amichai
Minister Uri Ariel visits Amichai
Hezki Baruch

Minister Uri Ariel on Monday evening visited Amichai, the new town which is meant for the former residents of Amona. His visit came in the wake of the prolonged interruption of construction work in the area, in contrast to the commitments given to the Amona expellees.

Construction was halted last month, with representatives from Amona saying that "the construction work for Amichai was completely halted due to bureaucratic complications and budgetary constraints."

Minister Ariel said on Monday evening that the current situation cannot continue. "I am turning to the Prime Minister and telling him, ‘All the discussions are not interesting’. If the delays continue, the people of Amona will simply go up to the land - if it's in tents, if it's in caravans - and I'll join them. We need to provide the additional budget and end this injustice."

"I spoke with the Prime Minister's Office in order to pass the budget, and if not, there are other ways to realize the right and obligation to be here with the residents of Amona. I estimate that if the work continues, within a few months it will possible to begin building the houses,” he continued.

Avichai Boaron, the leader of the campaign to save Amona, said, "Unfortunately, for more than a month there have been no tractors in Amichai and the earthworks are halted because of office bureaucracy. We've been living in Ofra for seven months. We long to come here and cannot stay in the Midrasha anymore. I believe that if it will be necessary to ascend to Amichai [before the construction is completed], not only Minister Ariel will come with us, but all the public and youth will come here. We will not celebrate the holidays at the Midrasha - and we have nowhere else to go but here. We will celebrate the holidays here."

Yisrael Gantz, the deputy head of the Binyamin Council, said, "Because of bureaucratic problems, the people of Amona are still stuck at the Midrasha in Ofra. We paid some of the money from our own pockets, but the money from the state has not arrived. Because of money, there are no tools here. The entire eviction of Amona was folly. After making that mistake, the Israeli government must solve it and provide a solution for the residents of Amona."