Israeli cabinet delays Ma’ale Adumim annexation vote, Amona outpost deal falters



The Amona outpost. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( The Israeli cabinet decided to delay a vote on a bill for Israel to annex the Jerusalem suburb of Ma’ale Adumim, which lies beyond the 1967 lines, until Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with President Donald Trump next month.

According to Netanyahu, the Trump administration asked for Israel to refrain from any unilateral measures until the leaders’ expected meeting in February. 

“I support Israeli sovereignty over Ma’ale Adumim,” Netanyahu said. “There is no question about Ma’ale Adumim, and in any future accord it will be under Israeli sovereignty. But right now, at the request of the U.S. administration, we were asked not to surprise them but to formulate a joint policy.”

Meanwhile, residents of the West Bank Jewish outpost of Amona, who signed a deal with the Israeli government last month to peacefully evacuate their homes ahead of a demolition, now say that Netanyahu and Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who helped to craft the deal, have violated their agreement. As such, the residents said they now oppose the plan to relocate their community. 

The Israeli High Court had ruled that the Amona outpost sits on privately owned Palestinian land and is therefore illegal. The government originally planned to demolish the outpost in late December, but struck a deal to extend the demolition 45 days, while relocating some of the residents to adjacent land and the rest to the nearby settlement of Ofra.

"For us, this is now a struggle….At the current state of things, we have no choice but to renew the public struggle in full force and call upon our thousands of supporters to come to Amona posthaste, stand beside us, and do everything possible to prevent the evacuation," the Amona residents said in a statement.

Posted on January 23, 2017 .