Abu-Ghneim settlement, northwest of Bethlehem

U.S. opposes Israel’s plan to move Amona settlement to Palestinian land

Bethlehem/PNN/

Washington opposes Israel’s plan to move the outpost of Amona to land that belongs to Palestinians who were forced by Israeli army to leave their homes in the site in 1967.

A senior U.S. official noted that Washington had recently approached the Israeli government to strongly protest the matter.

The administration had held a series of discussions with Israelis at working and senior levels on Amona, he added. Political sources told Haaretz that no decision had been made on Amona, adding that the plan referred to did not involve the expropriation of land.

The Americans view the plan as deviating from commitments undertaken by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to President Barack Obama that Israel would not appropriate Palestinian land in the West Bank to establish new settlements or expand existing ones.

Israeli Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau commented on Amona Thursday night as part of a daily briefing to reporters.

“We’re deeply concerned by reports that the Israeli government has begun the process to take over privately-owned Palestinian land to relocate the illegal Israeli outpost of Amona,” she said.