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Work on Amichai has concluded
Amona evacuees to inaugurate new Amichai settlement
25 of the families evacuated from outpost to enter new homes in newly-established Amichai Monday—first Israeli community officially endorsed in West Bank in a quarter century; despite joyous occasion, residents level criticism, say 'certain figures close to home turned a cold shoulder, tried to make decisions for us.'

Fourteen months after the evacuation of Amona, the outpost's 25 families are expected to move to the new Amichai settlement that was established for them in its wake. In a ceremony to be held Monday, and after nearly 25 years in which no Israeli communities were officially sanctioned in the West Bank, residents will inaugurate their new home.

 

 

Apart from the Amona families—who will be joined in the ceremony by the head of the Binyamin Regional Council—15 other families will join the evacuees after the fesitval of Passover—with the community set to include 1,100 families in the future.

 

The new Amona evacuee community of Amichai (Photo: Reuters)
The new Amona evacuee community of Amichai (Photo: Reuters)
 

In the past few weeks, in conjunction with the Binyamin Regional Council, infrastructure work on Amichai has been in full swing with connections created to power, sewage and water systems, at an estimated cost of tens of millions of shekels.

 

Works have continued in earnest despite the fact that they were initially plagued by delays that included work shutting down altogether. Residential containers were recently placed on the community's grounds.

 

The Amona evacuee leadership looked back in pride and explained it was one of the only instances of a settlement-related struggle being waged by residents themselves without meditation.

 

Amona evacuees (Photo: Hillel Meir/TPS)
Amona evacuees (Photo: Hillel Meir/TPS)

 

Representatives of the Amona evacuees met throughout the period of their protest with government officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself, and thought up the new replacement community, as well as the law that preceded it and the absentees' property agreement to keep Amona in the same location.

 

While Amona residents held the prime minister and Minister Aryeh Deri, Ayelet Shaked and Avigdor Lieberman—as well as assorted MKs—in high regard, they hurled thinly veiled criticism at officials in the West Bank.

 

"We ended up winning after spearheading—against all odds—the Regulation Law with everyone in the country realizing Israelis in Judea and Samaria deserve equal rights," said Avichai Boaron, who in the past two years has led Amona residents' struggle.

 

Avichai Boaron
Avichai Boaron

 

"Now, after a long and arduous journey these past two years, we'd like to begin putting our lives back together, build homes and gardens and give our families a stable place to live. We owe our children that much," he stated.

 

"We have fought a determined, uncompromising war despite receiving the cold shoulder from certain people close to him, who got in our way and tried to make the decisions for us, going so far as to besmirch us," one Amona resident said.

 

Works on the new community have stalled several times (Photo: AFP)
Works on the new community have stalled several times (Photo: AFP)

 

Chairman of the Binyamin Regional Council Avi Roeh, who was responsible for carrying out Amichai's infrastructural works, expressed his delight at the prospect of building up the new settlement.

 

"Just before Passover, we're excited to see Amichai—created by the Israeli government—being populated. Amona residents will get to celebrate their Seder in their new home, God willing," Roeh said. 

 

"This is an opportunity to thank anyone who has helped during this long, complex and important journey. Happy Passover to all of Israel," he added.

 


פרסום ראשון: 03.26.18, 09:10
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