AMONA – More than 3,000 Israeli security forces converged on the Samarian outpost of Amona at daybreak Wednesday to empty the tiny hilltop community of its residents.
Some of the 42 families – more than 600 people – being evacuated have lived there for 20 years. But Israel’s High Court ruled in favor of a Palestinian petitioner claiming he owned the land.
According to Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, police had been preparing for the operation for several weeks. He said the area was being evacuated according to the High Court decision.
Hundreds of Israelis – mostly youth – came to stand in solidarity with the Amona residents.
The community is located on a barren hill in biblical Samaria along Highway 60 that follows the route the Jewish patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, took through the land.
Many of those in Amona on Wednesday told CBN News that this land is part of the divine inheritance promised to the Jewish people in the Bible.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett called the Amona residents “heroes."
“We lost the battle, but we’re winning the war for the land of Israel,” Bennett said at the Knesset on Wednesday. “Hope will spring up from this difficult day.”
Bennett said the court’s interference that led to the evacuation of Amona would never happen again because of new legislation that is being put in place.
“Thanks to the fight for Amona, thousands of families have been saved from having their homes raised,” he was quoted as saying.