Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/FLASH90

Thursday night on the Israeli news one of the women from Amona, whose home and community no longer exist said she just wanted to know where they were going to live. She was ready to build anew, despite the great pain, bereavement and difficulties, but it hurt her even more that although the government had promised nearby locations the Amona DPs are in limbo.

Looking at all of these devastated, homeless young families and idealistic supporters from near and far just breaks your heart.


It took so much emotional strength for the woman to say that she is willing to build a new home and community if only the government would do its part and set it up. She reminded me of a bereaved mother who has other children after one dies/is killed. In Israel this is a very common reaction, even when the parents had considered themselves as finished with childbirth or “too old.” The additional child is certainly not a replacement for the dead one, but the joy of dealing with a new baby a new life is frequently a good way escape the depression and focus on the past that is part of bereavement.

And that is how many of the Amona families feel. They want to build to help deal with their pain and disappointment.

Most had been living in flimsy mobile homes all this time.  Just a couple of months ago, the residents of Amona had been told that they’d still be on the hill, or very close by, and that the government would build them a real community with real houses, rather than the prefabricated ones they’d been in.

What has also been said by the government is that a new community will be built to the east of Shiloh, south of Shvut Rachel, possibly near Adei Ad, and the DPs of Amona will have priority rights for those houses.

There hasn’t been such a government initiative to build a community for Jews in Judea/Samaria for decades if ever. There are other rumors that it would be further to the south, closer to Kochav Hashachar and Rimonim. Whether near Shvut Rachel or Kochav Hashachar, one thing for sure is that the climate is much milder than Ofra. But if the families want their children to continue studying in Ofra, the trip isn’t all that close, since there isn’t an official road connecting the Alon Road and Highway 60. The one I travel on is barely one lane wide. Even though Ofra is close “as the crow flies,” it’s not all that close by road.  It would be nice if as an added bonus, the government should build a couple (or just one) good road connecting these two major north-south highways. 

I travel in that area now a few days a week to a from work, and I’m always amazed and impressed by the quantity of land just waiting for Jews to make it bloom.

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Batya Medad blogs at Shiloh Musings.