Amona evacuees are threatening to build a settlement on their own if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not make good on his pledge to authorize one for them by Friday.“If nothing happens, we will have to unilaterally move onto the [designated] land and create the settlement,” Avihai Boaron, a spokesman for the former Amona residents, said on Sunday.Prior to their eviction in February, Netanyahu promised that the government would create a settlement for the 40 families in an area of the Shiloh community in the Binyamin region of the West Bank.Boaron told Army Radio that work is scheduled to begin on the community by the end of March, based on a signed agreement with the Prime Minister’s Office, but the government has yet to authorize the settlement.A government vote, along with an Interior Ministry designation of a symbol for the community, are the first steps necessary before legal construction can begin.Boaron said the property in question is state land, and that there is no reason for the issue to be dragged out.
Netanyahu, however, pledged the community precisely as Israel and the US are in the midst of coming to an understanding with regard to settlement activity. A settlement for the Amona families near Shiloh, which is located beyond the planned route of the security barrier, is considered part of those talks.But Boaron said the two issues have nothing to do with each other.“What we want is for the government to stand by its promise,” he said. “This is not about the Left or the Right. This is about the government’s obligation to make good on a signed agreement it made to its citizens.”Avi Ro’eh, who heads the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea and Samaria, said he supported the Amona evacuees’ decision.This isn’t an “ultimatum,” he told Army Radio, but rather a situational assessment.There are 40 families who have been living for almost two months in a field school, added Ro’eh, who also heads the Binyamin Regional Council.Shiloh is under his auspices, Ro’eh said, and if Netanyahu has still not made good on his word by the beginning of April, “we will go onto that hilltop.”
Israeli police evacuate Amona synagogue