Likud MKs protest, Lieberman supports court-ordered Amona demolition
The defense minister supported the High Court-ordered evacuation of Amona, but some Likud MKs held an emergency meeting with Amona and Ofra residents in opposition to the scheduled demolitions. They were displeased with Lieberman's statements: 'Defense Minister Lieberman has raised the white flag of surrender to extreme left organizations and the Palestinian Authority.'
Likud MKs Yehuda Glick, Yoav Kish, Oren Hazan and Amir Ohana, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotolevy and Judea and Samaria Council Head Avi Roeh hosted on an emergency meeting with residents of Amona and Ofra on Monday to protest the scheduled demolition of their homes.
Amona, an outpost located on a hill overlooking Ofra, is located in the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council and is home to about 40 families. In December, 2014 the High Court of Justice ruled that the community was built on private Palestinian land and ordered residents evacuated by the end of 2016.
Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman addressed the matter on Monday evening whilst addressing the students of Ariel University in the West Bank. He said, "There's no chance to leaving Amona where it is built today because of the High Court of Justice's ruling, because most of the houses are built on private Palestinian lands…The law enforced in Amona will apply to everyone—also on Palestinian squatters in Susya. We will respect the court's decision as a country of law."
In his speech, Lieberman also called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to adopt the principle of land exchanges in any future agreement with the Palestinians. "Why do I need to subsidize Raed Salah and pay a salary to Hanin Zoabi? I don't see a reason why the prime minister shouldn't adopt the principle."
Those at the emergency meeting disapproved of Lieberman's pronouncements. "Defense Minister Lieberman has raised the white flag of surrender to extreme left organizations and the Palestinian Authority, both of whom abuse the Israeli legal system to bring about the destruction of settlements in Judea and Samaria," said one participant at the emergency meeting. "We call on Lieberman, the prime minister and the other coalition parties to prevent the eviction."
The Likud Party has been in turmoil since Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in recent months that they intend to obey the Court’s ruling.
"The time has come for the prime minister to understand that people who choose to live in Judea and Samaria do so out of a sincere belief that it is our right… The story of Amona is not only about Amona, but about the whole of Israeli history," MK Oren Hazan told TPS.
TPS contributed to this report.