MK Bezalel Smotrich
MK Bezalel SmotrichYoni Kempinski

MK Betzalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) arrived this morning to Amona, following the community’s decision not to accept the government’s relocation proposal for the community.

Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Smotrich said that he thought “the decision ought to have been different, we thought that the community ought to have accepted the proposal, that it makes an opening for hope, but we honor the decision of Amona; the fear was that the Supreme Court would delay the absentee property plan [on which the proposed relocation was founded].”

The proposed agreement would have seen Amona's residents leave their homes by the date required by the Israeli Supreme Court, or by a future date which the Supreme Court would set if they agree to the government's request to delay the expulsion.

In return, the government was to have immediately begun work on eleven portable buildings in Lot 38, which has an area of six dunams. The government was also to have built four portable buildings in the lots immediately next to Amona, and given them permits for two years.

During the two-year period, the government was to have turned to the Jerusalem Magistrates Court, requesting they remove owners' names from the property, since the land is "absentee property" whose owners have not recognized or paid taxes on it for decades.

Smotrich emphasized that he stands behind the right of the residents to oppose the eviction. “We stand behind their right to protest the injustice that was done to them.”

He said that the apprehension of Amona residents was understandable. “There is a legitimate concern that the Supreme Court will get involved in the plan and delay it, the significance being that Amona residents would have to move twice. I understand the residents, who feared that, in the end, they would be struck doubly.”