Amona Relocation a Long Way Off

Israel, Yehudah and Shomron, Amona
A bus stop at Shiloh, in the Shomron, adjacent to the site designated for new homes for the Amona evacuees. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

For all the controversy surrounding Israel’s decision to build a new community in Yehudah and Shomron for the relocation of the Amona evacuees, it could take two to three years before it’s ready for occupancy.

Last Thursday, the security cabinet voted unanimously to establish the first entirely new Jewish community in the region in over 20 years (not merely expanding an existing one), adjacent to Shiloh in the Shomron. But even if the government puts the project on the fast track, obtaining the necessary permits, publishing tenders and then construction would still take many months; 1-3 years before bulldozers are even on the ground at the currently empty plot on the Geulat Tzion hilltop.

Even leftists who oppose any building in Yehudah and Shomron acknowledge this.

“It takes time to approve a new settlement; it’s a lot of work,” Hagit Ofran of the dovish Peace Now told The Times of Israel. “The government knows how to move such processes quickly, but it will not be finished by tomorrow morning.”

On the right, the Amona relocation announcement was welcomed, but not without qualms.

The Yesha council’s foreign representative Oded Revivi said he feared that the cabinet’s decision might have been a “smokescreen” to divert attention from a policy to slow down the pace of construction in Yehudah and Shomron to appease the Trump administration.

“The decision is extremely vague, and we’re concerned that nothing will come of this promise,” Revivi said. “Time will tell whether there were good intentions behind it or not.”

“There’s no way to estimate how long this will take,” Revivi said. “Judging by the language of the security cabinet decision, it will take as long as the prime minister and his ministers want it to take. If they wanted the plan to come to fruition tomorrow, it would happen tomorrow.”

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