The Israeli security cabinet Thursday night assigned a new location near Shilo in Samaria for the re-housing of the 40 families forcibly evacuated from their homes and farms in Amona earlier this month. The High Court ordered their homes demolished after finding they had been established some years ago on privately-owned Palestinian land. The Amona families will be given homes in the first new settlement the government has approved in Judea and Samaria in more than two decades, as promised by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Today, 140 Jewish communities live in the territory with a population of some 660,000.
Talks have been in progress with the Trump administration for the past three weeks on agreed guidelines for settlement construction to promote Middle East peace talks. Spokesmen in Washington responded to the Israeli cabinet decision by saying that new communities are an impediment to the peace process, but the administration understands the special circumstances that made this one necessary.