Netanyahu to Amona: 'My heart is with you'
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issues a statement on Friday, saying he empathizes with Amona residents scheduled for evacuation; Netanyahu says he will not accept discrimination of any group, adding that he aims to carry out evacuations of illegally built communities whether they are Arab or Jewish.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement on Friday, prior to Amona's scheduled evacuation, expressing his solidarity—at least in spirit—with the outpost's residents.
"Dear Amona residents, my heart is with you," opened his letter. "We are living in a difficult time, for you, your families and the entire people of Israel."
He stated that "The government is committed to settlements of Judea and Samaria. We are more committed to this than any other government in the history of the state."
"As such, the government's ministers are making every possible effort, every effort, to find a solution that would allow the settlers (to stay) in place. We have dedicated days and nights to this, tens of discussions, we have come up with creative solutions, out-of-the-box solutions, but sadly these suggestions have not been accepted."
He cautioned, however, that the settlers are still expected to adhere to the court's decision. "One thing must be made clear: the State of Israel is a lawful one. The court's ruling binds us all, including the Israeli government."
That said, Netanyahu remarked that evacuating the Jewish settlement of Amona would be followed by the evacuation of other illegally built communities, possibly Arab ones. "But the law must be equal. The same law that necessitates the evacuation of Amona also necessitates the evacuation of illegal building in other areas of our country."
"For this reason," continued Netanyahu. "I instructed to carry out the demolition of illegal building in the Negev, Wadi Ara, the Galilee, the Center—all over the country, which we will do in the upcoming days. I will not tolerate discrimination regarding the enforcement of building regulations between Israeli citizens, between Jews and Arabs, between one person and another. I will fight so that Israel will have one law for everyone, and one path to enforce it for everyone—something that has not been the case for several decades."
"I call on everyone to act responsibly," said Netanyahu. "Not to harm IDF soldiers and security forces in any way. These are our sons, the apple of our eye, they are dear to all of us, they protect us. There is no place for violence."
Referring to the endangerment of civilians during an evacuation scenario, Netanyahu said, "I also turn to the dear parents in Amona: your protest is understandable, but it is no place for the presence of boys and girls, or for that of adolescents."
"I call on all leaders to show national responsibility during this time," concluded Netanyahu. "The unity of Israel is amongst the highest of principles, and it is the source of our strength. We are one people. We are brothers."