Hundreds of kippot-sporting teenagers hiked down the single lane road from the rain-washed Amona outpost on Sunday. Many of these youngsters have been expecting a showdown with the police, but the conflict was averted when residents agreed to a last-minute deal to relocate the settlement to nearby land on the same hilltop.
The residents’ decision was announced on a loudspeaker, which rang throughout the muddy hilltop community as huddled groups of teenagers booed in response.
Many said that the residents’ decision was a capitulation to the government. Shortly after the decision, many Amona supporters – around 1,000 stayed in the outpost over the weekend – hopped in their cars hoping to beat the traffic. Others climbed the outpost’s water towers to take down signs. Some cried and others appeared unfazed, lighting fireworks and joking around.
“If in the next month the state lives up to its promise to build 52 houses and public structures, then the struggle will be crowned a success and Amona will stay on the hill. If the state does not keep its promises, we will not hesitate to start the fight again, with more grit and more strength,” the Save Amona Campaign said in a statement.
An Amona resident declined to speak with The Jerusalem Post
, saying he needed time to relax.
“The Amona residents decided in a different direction than my point of view,” Shoshana Shilo, the assistant mayor of the Kedumim settlement, told the Post
. “But it can’t be that all these people are criticizing the Amona residents about their decision when they are sleeping and eating in their homes.”
Before speaking to the Post
, Shilo chastised two teenagers who were lambasting the Amona residents while eating plates of yellow rice in a resident’s driveway.
The outpost was built in 1995 on what the courts subsequently ruled was private Palestinian land. The High Court of Justice has ordered the state to demolish the outpost by December 25. Many thought a showdown with the police was imminent after the community voted 58-20 on Wednesday night against an earlier proposal to resettle the families on a nearby plot of land.
“This is the Land of Israel; we don’t do deals on the Land of Israel. There were never any Arabs here,” extreme-right activist Baruch Marzel told the Post
. “This is land that was always Jewish. I don’t believe Netanyahu, I think he is lying to [the residents], they are not going to get any of things that were promised to them.”
“They sold us out,” one boy said at the outpost said.