Photo Credit: Courtesy the Knesset
The Knesset plenum

The effort to save the Jewish community of Amona from demolition and eviction has overcome its first big hurdle Wednesday afternoon, as the Knesset plenum passed the Arrangements Act by a vote of 58 to 50 with no abstention. The latest version of the bill, which now goes to deliberations in committee, lets the Arab claimants against Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria to hold their title to the land while receiving market value compensation for it. The new law applies strictly to lands impounded by the Israeli government and not disputes over land that was settled without government sanction.

Finance Minister and Chairman of Kulanu Moshe Kahlon was reportedly uncertain whether his party should support the coalition bill, despite the fact that they were bound by “coalition discipline.” Kahlon was, and continues to be anxious about the possibility of a clash between the government and Israel’s Supreme Court, which is invested in seeing Amona, alongside the rightwing coalition, being brought down to their knees come December 25, the day decreed by the court.

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Habayit Hayehudi Chairman and Education Minister Naftali Bennett, as well as Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and the entire national religious faction refused to negotiate either the wording or the timing of the new legislation, which had been approved by the government on Sunday.

A spokesman for Habayit Hayehudi told Srugim, “Interestingly, what the prime Minster hasn’t been able to do for an entire year we suddenly managed to do in three days.”

However, both Minister Kahlon and Coalition Chairman David Bitan (Likud) warned that the bill would be suspended should it meet resistance from the Supreme Court.

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