Last night, a marathon meeting where both sides tried to come to an agreement about the relocation of Amona concluded when the residents voted on the proposal. It was voted down as 59 voted against it and only 20 voted for it.
The residents explained that the current proposal does not guarantee a solution to relocate all the residents on the Amona mountain itself. But they said they would consider any acceptable proposal. The Supreme Court ruled that Amona must be vacated by December 25th, and if there is no alternative the government may decide to forcefully evacuate the residents.
The Amona residents issued a statement: ”We the residents of Amona came here as young couples many years ago. We raised our children here, built our homes here and in the soil of our homeland we’ve planted all of our family memories. Our children’s memories formed here and our moments of fortune were born here. In our home we celebrated birthdays, anniversaries and both Jewish and national holidays.”
“This past year our entire life focused on one thing- the desire to stay home, on the mountain of Amona. The battle we led brought many positive results to the settlement of Judaea and Samaria and the re-establishment of the Jewish nation in the cradle of its birth. We’ve brought about the “Regulation Law” and we’ve succeeded in portraying the position of the settlers in a clear and honorable manner.”
“Unfortuntely, the latest news is that our own homes will be the exception to the regulation Law. We are left with the bitter reality of impending banishment and destruction of our homes and our town with the entire trauma we and our children may suffer.”
“Today- after a yearlong tiring and difficult battle, a proposal was made to us which provides for only 25% of our people to live in a very small land parcel and only in temporary dwellings. The rest of the families received ambiguous promises of highly problematic solutions. Our initial happiness dissipated when we found the holes in the proposal were similar to Swiss cheese; the government actually committed themselves to nothing and everything depends on many legal procedures with no guarantee of their success or the government’s backing. Past experience with previous forced resettlements taught us not to rely on words that aren't backed by guarantees. Especially when the government did a “bait and switch”, promising one thing and giving us a totally different proposal document to sign.”
“In light of the situation, we choose to be true to the aim for which we started out. We would be happy to absorb the destruction of our homes and even moving from one temporary dwelling to the next as long as a Jewish settlement remains on the mountain. But the current proposal makes no such guarantee or any commitment that destroying our homes is linked to getting a different home to live in. After additional negotiation it became clear that the government has no intention of linking leaving our homes to the proposed “Abandoned Land clause”. The government Legal Advisor will not request the delay in relocation in the event that the abandoned land clause is temporarily suspended. This means that should this clause be attacked by the Supreme court as unconstitutional we gave up our homes with no recourse.”
“In light of the inherent uncertainty of the proposal, after ten hours of negotiation the Amona residents decided in a majority vote to reject the proposal in its current form. We reiterate, if the government clearly commits to building replacement homes here in Amona and to the deferment of the relocation until after these homes are built we would accept that. If on the other hand the government cannot commit to build our new homes and to our moving to the new homes without leaving the mountain then we cannot accept their offer,” Concludes the letter from the Amona residents.