ISRAELI POLICEMEN gather in 2006 to remove the outpost of Amona..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Residents of the Amona outpost promised to resist any evacuation attempts, after the High Court of Justice rejected last-minute appeals for a delay and insisted that their hilltop community must be demolished by December 25.
“We’ll stand here like a bulwark!” Amona spokesman Avihai Boaron promised at an emergency meeting the community’s 40 families held on Monday night, just hours after receiving the final word from the court.
In the days to come, he said, a tent city would be put up for those who want to help the community resist the court decree.
He appealed to Netanyahu to support a legislative solution, explaining that there 40 families in the outpost, including 200 children and teens.
“It’s up to you [Netanyahu] to save us or to sacrifice us,” he said.
“Pass the bill and remove the sword of evacuation and transfer from over our heads,” Boaron said.
He referenced the forced demotion that took place there in February 2006, when security forces carried out an HCJ ruling to demolish nine permanent homes in the outpost.
“We won’t let Amona fall again,” he said.
Tamar Nizri, a mother of eight, said she had come to the meeting precisely at the moment when she should have been home preparing dinner and pushing her children into the shower in preparation for the next day at school.
To Netanyahu she said, “You’re the captain of our ship, the captain of our country, we need you to help us stay here.”
After living in Amona for 18 years, she said, she wanted to remain and to raise her grandchildren in the hilltop community on the outskirts of the Ofra settlement.
She knew, she said, that he could stand strong when he wanted to against pressure and asked him to do that here.
Both she and Boaron linked the fate of their community with those homes, noting that if they allowed their community to be razed, the same fate would await others like them.
The resistance here must be stiff enough so that the images of it would prevent any other demolition, she told Army Radio on Tuesday morning.
“It’s a crime to pull people from their homes,” she added.
“We want justice and that is the law that should exist here,” she said.
She spoke of the difficulty of watching the IDF execute such evacuation orders.
Nizr added that not all orders should be followed, noting that “Hitler’s soldiers” were also just following orders.
Attorney General Avihai Mandelblit has argued against the legislation which he said has failed to meet the standard of both Israeli and international law.
The Knesset, he added, should not pass bills designed to circumvent court rulings.
On Wednesday the Knesset is due to hold a preliminary vote on the settlement bill which called for the retroactive legalization of 2,000 homes, many of which like those in Amona, are built on private Palestinian property.
Compensation would be offered to the Palestinian land owners.