Netanyahu Freezes Bill to Legalize Amona

A view of the Jewish outpost community of Amona. (Noam Moskowitz/Flash90)
A view of the Jewish outpost community of Amona. (Noam Moskowitz/Flash90)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called a halt Sunday to discussion of a bill to legalize the Amona outpost community, which has been strongly backed by Jewish Home members of his coalition, Arutz Sheva reported.

Netanyahu ordered it removed from the agenda of the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, where Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) had already declared her intention to bring the bill for a vote on Sunday and to cast her own vote in favor.

The announcement was made at the end of a meeting between Netanyahu and the heads of the coalition parties. Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s opinion, that the law would be struck down by the High Court as unconstitutional and would put other communities in Yehudah and Shomron in jeopardy, was apparently decisive.

However, Arutz Sheva said it has learned that Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) may propose a different solution for Amona, which would allow the buildings to remain without the need for new legislation.

Liberman would use the Absentees’ Property Law from 1950, which allowed the Israeli government to purchase the property of those who left for enemy countries during the War of Independence.

Earlier in the day, Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) threatened he might resign from the government if Netanyahu continues to block legislation to legalize Amona.

Out of 13 ministers who will vote on legalizing Amona, seven have said that they plan to vote in favor, weekend media reports said.