Israel’s Civil Administration and Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) approved jurisdiction over land designated for the construction of a new community for the evicted residents of Amona, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Sunday.
The approval is the first indication that the Israeli government intends to follow through with its promise to build a new community in Judea and Samaria for the former residents of Amona, a settlement outpost housing 42 Israeli families that Israel razed in February due to Palestinian land ownership claims.
As a precursor to their new permanent community, residents will need to obtain a special injunction from the IDF’s GOC Central Command. The permit applies to jurisdiction over state land in Judea and Samaria’s Shiloh Valley.
“Unfortunately, it is still too early to be happy,” Avichai Buaron, leader of the Amona community, told Yedioth Ahronoth. “This decision is but another stage in a long and tedious bureaucratic planning process that could take many years. We repeat: Only a GOC Central Command injunction for the establishment of a temporary residential site can take us out of our desperation.”
“We are calling on the prime minister to honor himself and us and allow us to establish a new community as he promised,” Buaron added. “According to the agreement, the construction…was supposed to begin by the end of March. Two months after that deadline, there is no start in sight.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had said in late March, “I had promised from the start that I would create a new settlement [for Amona’s evacuees]. It seems to me that I made that commitment in December and I will keep it today.” The settlement would be Judea and Samaria’s first newly constructed community in 25 years.