(photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)
The Amona outpost can only be authorized through legislation, settlers said on Sunday, as they called on right-wing ministers to push forward that bill before the Knesset breaks for the summer at the end of this week.
The Ministerial Legislative Committee had been expected to debate and possibly vote on a bill to retroactively legalize unauthorized settler homes in Judea and Samaria located on private Palestinian property, including those in the Amona outpost. The bill would compensate Palestinian landowners of the homes.
But for the second week in a row, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) delayed any action on the matter, in favor of finding a solution for the 40 families that live on the Amona outpost that does not involve legislation.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has in the past opposed such legislative drives to deal with unauthorized settler homes, and is expected to do so in this instance as well.
Shaked had hoped to have answers by Sunday on an alternative solution put forward by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. It involves making use of the abandoned property law to relocate the outpost to a parcel of land close to where Amona is now located in the Binyamin region of the West Bank, on the outskirts of the Ofra settlement.
Instead, she is working toward obtaining a legal opinion on the matter by Wednesday, the last day when the Knesset is in session for the summer, so that ministers will understand how best to move forward.
But the Campaign to save Amona said it did not believe that such a solution would be acceptable to the High Court of Justice, which in 2014 ordered that the outpost must be razed by the end of December as it was built without permits on private Palestinian property.
Amona spokesman Avihai Boaron said the only way to save his home was for the Ministerial Legislative Committee to vote on a bill to do so on Wednesday, and then bring it immediately to the plenum for approval in a first reading.