Sources: New Amona Settlement to Be Built in Shiloh Area

YERUSHALAYIM -
A view of the center of Shiloh. (Daniel Ventura)

The new settlement for evictees from Amona will be set up in the area of Shiloh, a source close to the matter told the 0404 news site Wednesday. The site quoted the source as saying that there were several options in the area that are being examined, and it is expected that one of them will be approved.

The Shiloh bloc is south of the Amona hilltop, in the Binyamin region. One advantage of the area, the source said, is that most of the land in the area of Shiloh has been vetted as state land, so there is no danger that absentee Palestinian claimants will file petitions to remove the residents from their new homes, as was the case in Amona. At least three options are being presented to the Amona evictees, the source said. One of the sites is currently an IDF operations area, used for training. It is expected that the army will oppose giving up the area, the source said.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked framed the decision of the High Court Tuesday to demolish 17 homes in an outpost near Kfar Tapuach as a “victory for the settlement enterprise.” The reason: Along with the demolition order, the court ruled that the rest of the Tapuach West outpost was built legally, and that the state could proceed to either integrate it with the existing local authority in Kfar Tapuach, or create a new one.

The petition to remove the structures – which are all movable caravans – was initiated by far-left group Yesh Din, who petitioned the High Court on behalf of absentee claimants who say that their families in the past had worked the land. But that petition has “boomeranged in the face of Yesh Din, as the High Court, even with its current members who have not shown great sympathy for the settlements, ruled that hundreds of dunams of land are now available for more construction,” said Justice Minister Shaked. “This will greatly enhance the development of Kfar Tapuach and central Shomron, which is an indivisible part of the State of Israel.”

The petition, which sought to prevent building in the entire area of Tapuach West, has now been dismissed, with the victory of the newly-determined legal status of the outpost far outweighing the part of the ruling demanding that the 17 caravans be removed. The state has until April 2018 to remove them. Technically, as the ruling came a day after the Knesset passed the Settlement Arrangements Law, the state has the option of ignoring the ruling and offering the supposed landowners compensation, but it is not clear that this will take place.