AMONA , West Bank, Nov. 29 (UPI) — Residents of Amona, West Bank, rejected a plan Tuesday to demolish their settlement after a compromise offer from Israel’s attorney general.
The settlement is one of many in the West Bank built for Israeli citizens with Israeli government funding, but unique in that it was illegally built in 1995, without permits, on land later identified as private property owned by Palestinians. After nearly two years of delays, Israel’s High Court of Justice ordered the Dec. 25 demolition of the community and the relocation of residents.
“The public will not tolerate the destruction of Amona,” said community spokesman Avihai Boaraon on Tuesday, hours after Zionist rabbis published a letter calling for their followers to travel to Amona to resist attempts to demolish the residences of the settlement’s 40 families.
Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit suggested a compromise solution, offering temporary housing to the settlers on three nearby plots of land administered by the Israeli government while new housing is constructed in another settlement.
Mandelblit’s offer was immediately rejected, Boaraon saying it “is not a solution at all for the Amona residents.”
“It’s ridiculous and humiliating. It’s put forward by someone who doesn’t see the dozens of families and hundreds of children who have built their life’s work here for the last 20 years. We’re not objects that can be carted from place to place every couple of months,” Boaraon said.
The Amona community sees only two possible solutions, one being the passing of a legislative bill called the Regulation Bill to retroactively legalize more than 2,000 unauthorized homes in the West Bank, including Amona, with compensation paid to Palestinians where necessary. The other is the destruction of the community and a forced evacuation of its residents, with painful scenes of families being torn from their homes, the Jerusalem Post reported.
The latter way, Boaraon said, will show the world that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government are responsible for uprooting Jews from their homes.
The Knesset, Israel’s parliament, plans to hold the first of three votes required to turn the Regulation Bill into law on Wednesday.