Amona residents reject evacuation deal: ‘You can’t buy us’

May 7, 2016  

Representatives of the Samarian community of Amona responded on Saturday night to a report in the Haaretz newspaper of a deal to evacuate their homes in exchange for the green-lighting of a new town.

According to the Haaretz report, the Defense Ministry and Amana organization – which promotes Jewish settlement of Judea and Samaria – had agreed to evacuate Amona and in exchange construct a new town more than three times its size, with 139 housing units compared to 40 in Amona.

Amona has been deemed illegal by the Israeli Supreme Court, which has ruled that the village was constructed on private Arab land. The community is slated to be demolished later this year.

On Saturday, however, residents of Amona spoke out against the deal, saying that they intended to fight the plans for eviction. Representatives of the town noted that Amana leader Zev Hever – nicknamed Zambish – had no authority to speak on their behalf.

“Zambish doesn’t represent us. We explained and clarified dozens of times to Amana and its leaders and to the Defense Ministry and others that we won’t evacuate. They won’t buy us off with money or real estate. We’re happy to hear about the establishment of a new community in Judea and Samaria, but let everyone be clear about something: it’s [the new town] not for us and it’s not going to come at our expense.”

“This is an opportunity to clearly state to anyone who tries to sell us out behind our backs: we will not play along. We’re not anyone’s toy soldiers. We’re here for good, to create a new situation: gone are the days of demolishing Jewish communities in Israel and expelling Jews from their homes.”

“We oppose this cynical attempt to relocate Amona, and we will do everything we can to stop it. In recent months there’s been real progress towards legalizing Amona. It’s a shame that now of all times we’re being betrayed. We call on community leaders to oppose this [relocation of] Amona and join the efforts of community leaders to find a solution to legalize Amona where it currently stands, a solution that will be a remedy for thousands of other homes in Judea and Samaria”.

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