Bennett, Netanyahu Agree to Amona Compromise
Education Minister Naftali Bennet said Monday that an agreement has been reached with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit “that will ensure there is a long-term future for Amona, on an amount of land for all [current] Amona residents, as well as potential for future expansion.”
The High Court of Justice has accepted Palestinian claims that Amona, an unauthorized outpost adjacent to the Ofra settlement, was built on privately-owned land and ordered the government to remove the residents and infrastructure by December 25. Pro-settlement have fought the ruling, to little avail.
In a statement, Bennett said he would not release details of the agreement before he presents them to Amona residents, which he plans to do in the next several hours. As of this writing, it is not clear if he intends on visiting the community in person.
Bennett also said he believes that in light of the agreement, residents will agree to peacefully replicate the community on a nearby hilltop. That, in turn, will allow pro-settlement representatives to ask the High Court of Justice to grant an extension in order to allow the agreement to be implemented.
Bennett praised the residents’ determination, but also added that replicating any community is wrong, and that his supporters feel the pain of the coming move together with Amona residents.
“But in the current circumstances we have managed to leave Amona on this hill, together with our terrific accomplishment of enshrining the legalization of Jewish settlement in law, and several other legal measures as well.
“Above all, let me be clear: It is absolutely forbidden, in any situation or for any reason or in service of any goal to employ violence,” Bennett said.