As Border Police continued to evacuate Amona on Wednesday evening, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced the establishment of a committee that would work to advance the building of a settlement in Judea and Samaria, the Jerusalem Post reports.
This would be the first new government-authorised settlement in the West Bank since the establishment of Revava near Ariel in 1991, when Yitzhak Shamir was prime minister.
The announcement came less than 24 hours after Israel announced the advancement and/or authorisation of 3,000 homes in other settlements. That announcement, issued Tuesday night by Netanyahu and Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman, came just minutes after the order came for the evacuation of Amona.
About “2,000 units are ready for immediate marketing, and the remaining are in different stages, in which [plans] will be deposited and/or validated,” the Defence Ministry notice said.
“We’re in a new era where life in Judea and Samaria is returning to its normal course,” Liberman said. The back-to-back announcements of more than 6,000 units within a single week is almost unprecedented, and triggered condemnations from the UN, the EU and France.
The US, however, was noticeably quiet on the matter, breaking with Washington’s practice over the last eight years to condemn nearly all announcements of construction in the settlements or in Jerusalem neighbourhoods beyond the Green Line.
Two families remained to be evacuated from the illegal Amona outpost late on Wednesday night, with the temperature hovering one or two degrees above zero. In addition, several dozen residents had blockaded themselves inside the synagogue, and some 200 youths remained walking through the settlement according to police.
Violent clashes had broken out earlier in the afternoon as hundreds of activists staged fierce resistance against thousands of policemen deployed to the outpost to implement an evacuation ordered by the High Court of Justice (HCJ), Yediot Aharonot reports.
The HCJ accepted the petition that day submitted by human rights group Yesh Din on Wednesday. According to the ruling, the Amona agreement reached between the settlers and the government is unlawful, since it states that the evacuated settlers will be moved to land belonging to Palestinians. The ruling was 2–1.
In mid-December, Amona residents had approved a new compromise deal offered by the government. According to the new relocation deal, a total of 24 families out of 40 will be able to move to an adjacent plot regulated as “absentee property” on the hill, not covered by the court’s ruling instead of the 12 proposed in the previous proposal.
The Bank of Israel is preparing new NIS 20 and 100 banknotes for release later this year. The bank released designs of the new notes on Tuesday, which will feature famous writers and poets, Leah Goldberg and Rachel Bluwstein.
The bank released the designs ahead their official distribution into the public domain and emphasised the new watermarks and security features in order to prevent forgery and counterfeiting.
According to the Bank of Israel, spikes in forgeries and counterfeits are recorded when new currency is introduced as criminals attempt to take advantage of the public's lack of familiarity with the new banknotes and their security features.
As such, the bank has distributed examples of the new notes to manufacturers, suppliers and vending machine companies in order for them to calibrate machines and prepare technically and operationally for new currency.
Thursday, February 02, 2017