Defense Ministry to demolish Amona, build new Samaria town

May 7, 2016  

The community of Amona, home to some 40 families, is scheduled to be demolished later this year. But according to a report by Haaretz, the state is planning to construct a new town nearby roughly three times the size.

Amona, which was built on land purchased from Palestinian Authority Arabs, has been deemed illegal by the Israeli Supreme Court, which has rejected the validity of the deeds to the land provided by the town’s founders.

In 2006 the high court ordered the demolition of nine houses which it claimed were built on privately-owned Arab land. Thousands of Israeli police and soldiers were called in to remove demonstrators.

Hundreds of civilians were wounded in the course of the evacuation, including several Knesset members. Witnesses accused security forces of using excessive force and in some cases, outright brutality.

Looking to avoid a repeat of the previous Amona evacuation, the Defense Ministry has reached out to the Amana organization, which built the community of Amona.

Plans acquired by Haaretz reveal a joint-plan by Amana and the Defense Ministry to replace Amona with an entirely new town, to be built near the existing Jewish community of Shiloh.

The new town is slated to be built on state-owned lands near Geulat Tzion, a small outpost built by members of the “Hilltop Youth” community.

A total of 139 homes are planned for the new town, more than three times the number of families currently living in Amona.

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