A deal has been struck between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) and Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Nftali Bennett regarding the proposed Arrangements Act on Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria, Walla reported Monday morning. The bill will be submitted for a preliminary vote by the Knesset plenum without a retroactive application to include Amona, a community in Samaria slated for demolition by the Supreme Court come December 25. In return for this concession on the part of the settlements movement, the government will defend the new law once it is approved in a third plenum vote, even if AG Avichai Mandelblit persists in his refusal to do it.
That part, about government insisting on defending a law against an appeal at the Supreme Court even when the AG (whose function also include being government’s legal counsel), is considered almost revolutionary by rightwing politicians, who view the AG and the individual legal counsels appointed to every government ministry as tyrannical extensions of the largely leftwing judicial civil service.
Last week, Mandelblit approved a short-term solution – moving the Amona residents to nearby vacant land which can be declared as belonging to absentee landlords and therefore may be appropriated by the state. The new deal requires finding proper relocation for all of the 42 families of Amona. To do that, the government intends to petition the Supreme Court once more for a postponement of the evictions, this time for 30 days – after the court has already denied its appeal for a 7-month postponement.
The new deal reportedly also includes a legal solution for the residents of the Netiv Ha’avot neighborhood in Gush Etzion as well as nine homes in Ofra, next door to Amona, which the Supreme Court has also slated for demolition and eviction. The state will be obligated to assign them substitute lands and homes.
Some in the settlement enterprise have suggested that moving the Amona residents to newly obtained state land is still an improvement over the idea of removing them from the area altogether, because the Mountain will not be deserted of Jews, with Ofra and Amona II maintaining their Jewish presence there.
Should the new bill be submitted this week, possibly even on Monday, without the retroactive application to Amona, the Habayit Hayehudi politicians will be expected to prevent clashes between the residents and security forces.JNi.Media