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September 28, 2016 / 25 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Amona’

Likud MKS Meet With Amona, Ofra Residents to Protest Court-Ordered Demolition of Homes

Monday, September 12th, 2016

by Ilana Messika Likud MKs Yehuda Glick, Yoav Kish, Oren Hazan and Amir Ohana, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotolevy and Judea and Samaria Council Head Avi Roeh all hosted an emergency meeting with residents of Amona and Ofra on Monday (Sept. 12, 2016) to protest the scheduled demolition of their homes.

Amona, a neighborhood on a hill overlooking Ofra, is located in the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council district and is home to about 40 families. In December 2014 the High Court of Justice ruled the community was built on private Palestinian Authority property and ordered the residents to evacuate by the end of 2016.

The meeting follows the government’s approval of a Civil Administration plan to transfer Amona residents to a 1600-dunam (395-acre) site about 20 kilometers northeast of the current location, east of the Jewish town of Shiloh. Residents have slammed the decision as a government sellout.

“Defense Minister [Avigdor] Liberman has raised the white flag of surrender to extreme left organizations and the Palestinian Authority, both of whom abuse the Israeli legal system to bring about the destruction of settlements in Judea and Samaria,” said one participant at the meeting. “We call on Liberman, the prime minister and the other coalition parties to prevent the eviction.”

Hemdat Shani, a resident of Ofra, told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) “This ruling of the the High Court of Justice discriminates badly against Judea and Samaria. This is the only place in Israel where a Jewish community could receive a court order like this without verification of the ownership of the land.

“[It is ironic because] Judea and Samaria actually possess the strongest link to the Jewish ancestral homeland,” she stated.

The Likud Party has been in turmoil since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Liberman said in recent months that they intend to obey the Court’s ruling.

“The time has come for the prime minister to understand that people who choose to live in Judea and Samaria do so out of a sincere belief that it is our right… The story of Amona is not only about Amona, but about the whole of Israeli history,” said MK Oren Hazan.

Demolition orders also threaten several more Jewish communities around Judea and Samaria. Last week, the High Court of Justice ruled that 17 unauthorized homes in the Netiv Avot outpost in Gush Etzion must be dismantled by March 2018, and last week security forces evicted people from their homes at the Esh Kodesh outpost in Samaria and from the Mitzpe Avichai outpost near Hebron on Tuesday.

“This decision to remove us from our land is unjust, anti-Zionist, and it cannot happen that a right-wing Likud government should be the one to see it done,” said Hemdat Shani.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Liberman Cites International Pressure over Arab Squaterville in Area C

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Thursday sat with schoolchildren in the Jewish community of Susiya in south Mt. Hebron, next door to which a squatter Arab community has emerged recently, in an obvious attempt to challenge Israeli sovereignty over Area C of Judea and Samaria. Liberman told the children the encroachment by the residents of Yata Village to the lands near Susiya was not an accident, but a planned effort to physically separate the new community of Susiya and the historic synagogue on the nearby archeological site.

Susiya is a legitimate archaeological site in the southern Judean Mountains that bears the archaeological remains of a 5th century CE enormous synagogue, one of the largest and most magnificent ever discovered, which was turned into a mosque by the Arab invaders in the 8th century.

“Are you familiar with the archeological site of Susiya?” Liberman asked, and continued, “One day all kinds of illegal buildings started popping there, supported by foreign countries. And why did they pop there? On purpose, to divide between the community of Susiya and the historic Susiya.”

Liberman revealed that he had been under “pressure from all over the world” not to apply the demolition order handed out more than once by the Supreme Court. “The European Union, the US — they all discovered Susiya. Suddenly the United Nations Security Council is also interested in Susiya.” He promised the children he would obey the law and carry out the demolitions. “The free world is preaching especially for this to be a country of laws, and we must honor our judiciary system,” he said, with a hint of sarcasm.

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov told the Security Council that the demolitions of illegal Arab construction in Area C, which is under full Israeli control, violate the recommendations of the so-called Middle East Quartet, comprising the US, Russia, the EU and the UN, on the way forward in the peace process.

Liberman attacked the Europeans and the Americans who demand that Israel ignore the Supreme Court ruling to demolish Susiya, but to enforce the same court’s ruling on demolishing the Jewish Amona community in northern Samaria. “We are a country of laws,” he said, and we will honor ourselves and our laws, regarding Amona, E1 (the area connecting Jerusalema nd Ma’ale Adumim), and Susiya,” he clarified.

Liberman called on the residents of Amona to embrace the compromise being offered by the government, and moved to the promised homes to be built near their community. “I say to the residents of Amona, there’s a ruling of the high court and we will obey it. If anyone is delusing themselves that we won’t, it’s not going to happen. Whatever the court permits we will do. That’s why we offered many alternatives, and I hope we’ll find one the Amona residents will also accept.”

David Israel

The Walter Bingham File – A Journey Celebrated and A Troubling Trend [audio]

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

Today, Walter celebrates a milestone of his journalistic and radio career. This is his 49th year in this business. So, this programme starts with a bang! Well, not so much a bang as the sound of a popping cork.

After this L’chaim, he gets down to the serious business of living in Israel. Every so often, we unfortunately hear of expulsions of Jews from their homes at the order of our Supreme Court, even if the alleged Arab landowner is nowhere to be found. One of the most horrendous of such actions took place during one night in 2007 in Chevron. Walter became the subject of his most emotional live report ever.

Because of the proposed forthcoming action in the much plagued village of Amona, he replays it today with the warning that it may upset you.

With a possible female president of the United States, Charedi newspapers and magazines in Israel and the US are facing a dilemma. Hear why they may have to rethink their policy.

And more.

Walter Bingham File 21Aug – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

Zionist Union MK Broshi Visits Amona Community

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

By Tzvi Lev/TPS

Ofrah (TPS) – Zionist Union MK Eitan Broshi visited the hilltop community of Amona in addition to the nine houses in Ofra that are slated for destruction and voiced support for a political deal that would save the sites.

“The government is stammering and hesitating in regards to the future of settlement in Judea and Samaria,” said Broshi. “I hope that the Zionist Union will support any government decision to legalize the structures.”

Amona, which has 400 residents and was founded in 1995, is scheduled to be destroyed in December in the wake of a 2015 High Court of Justice ruling that determined that it was built on private Arab land. The residents of the community contend that since the state supported its establishment and installed electricity and water there, it is the state’s responsibility to figure out a solution for the residents to remain there.

“It is also unacceptable to raze nine houses in Ofra, and the state must do what it can to legalize them and to allow for normal life here,” he contended.

The state has been trying to find a solution to the Amona issue and is now attempting to relocate the community to an adjacent plot of land. The attorney general ruled on Monday that there are no legal impediments to the plan.

Broshi is the first member of the left-leaning Zionist Union party to visit Amona, a fact that was not lost on its residents. “Even Member of Knesset Broshi was honest enough to support our campaign despite the political gap between us. Even he understands that a community that the state established must remain in place,” said an Amona spokesperson.

Binyamin Regional Council Chairman Avi Roeh praised Broshi for his visit. “Eitan Broshi is a man who is dedicated to settling the regions of Binyamin, Judea, Samaria, and all of the Land of Israel,” he exclaimed. “I am happy that he has taken the time today to assist and support us.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

AG Recommends Evacuating Amona, Residents Hoping for Political Rescue

Monday, August 8th, 2016

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit said on Sunday that there is no legal obstacle barring a review of the status of lands adjacent to the community of Amona in Benjamin regional council, to start a discussion of potentially moving there the residents of the community which has been slated for demolition by the end of the year by the supreme court. Mandelblit spoke at a discussion with government officials of regulating the status of Amona.

The Israeli Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that the Amona community is illegal under Israeli law, based on petitions of presumed original Arab owners of the land who had been rounded up by anti-Zionist groups like Peace Now and Yesh Din. Since then, the court has ruled again on the Amona case, ordering that the Jewish residents must be evacuated, the housing and infrastructure destroyed and the area be handed to the Arabs.

According to the Amona residents, when the community was founded in 1995 it was by a state initiative, promoted by then housing minister Natan Sharansky, who invested millions of dollars in creating an infrastructure, paving roads and promoting construction, all of it under the auspices of the state. If there were irregularities with the land purchase, it was the state’s problem, not theirs. Had they known the land was privately owned they would have stayed away, but they were told by the state to move in — let the state deal with the alleged original owners.

It should be noted that when Mandelblit was being considered for the AG appointment, he was favored by the right for his idea that in just these kinds of cases, with anti-Jewish settlement activists signing up claimants against existing Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, and the claimants prove ownership (which is not so hard to do considering the land registration archives are kept in Ramallah, seat of the Palestinian Authority) — said claimants be compelled to accept fair market value for the property, or comparable property. Mind you, this is after some Arab real estate agent had received full pay for the same land.

Now, despite his wise recommendation on grandfathering existing Jewish communities, the AG is obviously feeling that he can’t go to battle against a clear Supreme Court ruling to demolish Amona, and so he recommends finding an alternative land not for the alleged Arab owners, but for the very real Jewish residents instead.

Amona was the site of one of the most brutal attacks of Israeli government forces on Jewish residents in the state’s history. On February 1, 2006, Amona Jewish residents and protesters were evacuated by 10,000 Israeli Police, Border Police, and Army troops. The estimated 4,000 Jews on the Amona grounds mostly consisted of youths from nearby communities. More than 300 were injured, including some 80 security personnel. Among the injured were three Knesset members. After several hours, the Amona homes had been demolished. A few girls that were evacuated accused police officers of sexual assault.

In March 2006, the Knesset parliamentary inquiry into the events at Amona determined that security forces had employed brutal force, striking protesters with clubs and charging them with horses. Internal Security Minister Gideon Ezra was criticized for preventing police commanders from testifying at committee hearings. The committee also found contradictions between the testimonies of the Army Chief of Staff and the Internal Security Minister.

Today, none of the coalition parties wants to position itself behind a similar evacuation effort, a move which could kill their political aspirations among their rightwing voters. Likud, Habayit Hayehudi and Yisrael Beiteinu officials have stated recently that this government will not permit the destruction of Amona. When the brutal evacuation took place in 2006, it was carried out by the same government that had evacuated Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip in 2005, yet another traumatic event in recent Israeli history. That government was ruled by the Kadima party, a political albatross invented by soon-to-go-comatose Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, which has since disappeared from the political map, and serves as a warning to all Israeli rightwing parties wishing to err leftward.

With that in mind, it can be expected that Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Liberman and Justice Minister Shaked come up with a solution that keeps the Jewish settlers in place, risking the ire of the high court, as well as of Israel’s many friends in the free world. It should provide for great political theater, as these three politicians will show their ability to both capitulate and gravel while proudly standing erect. It’s time to call in the chiropractors.

JNi.Media

Plan In The Works to Transfer Residents of Amona To Alternative Location

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

The Israeli government has approved a plan by the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria to transfer the residents of Amona to another residential location of approximately 1600 dunams (395 acres) in the Binyamin region, east of Shilo.

Approximately 40 families currently live in Amona, which is located north of Jerusalem and next to the Jewish community of Ofra. The High Court of Justice found in December, 2014 that the community was built on private Palestinian land and that the residents of Amona must therefore be evacuated by the end of 2016.

The Defense Ministry has mapped out a plan to construct 140 housing units at the new site, at least 40 of which will be occupied by evacuees from Amona. However, Amona residents appear to be opposed to any compromise even at the expense of being evacuated by force.

“We strongly oppose the preparation of a neighborhood that’ll promote a population transfer of the residents of Amona,” a statement read on behalf of the community. “Any eventuality other than a resolution keeping us here may lead to a repeat of the painful images from the demolition of houses in the town ten years ago.”

on February 1, 2006, violent encounters ensued between Amona residents and their supporters, with Israeli police and security forces who arrived to follow through with an order from then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to demolish nine permanent structures.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

3 Armed Men Caught Near Ofra

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

At 7 AM, the town of Ofra’s security system identified 3 armed men in the valley below the community, north of the neighborhood of Amona, in the Binyamin region

Security forces went out and captured 3 men, armed with a hunting rifle, with a bullet in the chamber.

The three have been sent to interrogation to determine what they were doing in the area – whether it was hunting or terror.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/3-armed-men-caught-near-ofra/2016/07/12/

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