Hopeful settlers of the Amona settlement.
(photo credit: TAZPIT)
Settlers on Friday announced that they had begun to rebuild the Amona outpost to protest what they fear is a new wave of West Bank terrorist attacks.
“This is the basic Zionist response to Arab terrorism,” the Binyamin Regional Council said.
The IDF forcibly evacuated the outpost in 2017. It did so in response to a High Court of Justice ruling that the outpost was built on private Palestinian property and must be evacuated.
To compensate the 40 Amona families, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu authorized and built the first new West Bank settlement in close to 25 years. It is located near the Shiloh settlement and is called Amichai.
The Binyamin Regional council said that with the help of private donations settlers legally purchased four hectares of land on the Amona hilltop located on the outskirts of the Ofra settlement.
On Friday morning, the council announced it had erected two modular homes at the site of the former Amona hilltop community.
Binyamin Regional Council head Israel Ganz said that the plots were legally purchased.
“Yesterday I promised that we would establish a new settlement point in Binyamin in response to the serious attacks. Today we did it.”
He thanked Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan and MK Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi) for helping with the Amona initiative.
Dagan called on Netanyahu to immediately authorize Amona as a legal settlement.
Smotrich said that Netanyahu must prove he truly leads a right-wing government by legalizing Amona.
On Sunday, the Ministerial Legislative Committee is set to debate a private-members bill submitted by Smotrich that would authorized West Bank outposts on state land, transforming them into legal settlements or legal neighborhoods of existing settlements.
Hagit Ofran of the left-wing group Peace Now said, “It does not matter if the land was purchased legally or not” because the placement of the modular structures on the hilltop without approval was illegal.
The Binyamin Regional Council, she said, “cannot decide for an entire nation whether there will be a new settlement or not.”
Past claims by settlers to have purchased property in Amona have proved to be forged, she said. One such case, in which there was an indictment, will be heard in the Jerusalem District Court on Wednesday, Ofran said.
Peace Now plans to demand that Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit investigate the settlers’ actions, she said.
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