Nachum Schwartz cautiously eyed the rugged landscape where he hopes to build his new home.

“You see here, where there are thorns? That means no one ever lived or worked here and there is nothing written down about any ownership,” he said.

The point is especially potent to Schwartz, who two months ago was forced out of his home of 20 years in the West Bank outpost of Amona. The settlement was bulldozed in February after it came to light that it was built on land owned by Palestinian farmers living nearby.

The government has proposed resettling the families on a site just outside the Jewish settlement of Shvut Rachel, to what would be the first new Jewish settlement in 20 years.

But it remains unclear when, or even if, the new settlement will be built. A multitude of obstacles stands in the way, such as bureaucratic complications, Palestinian claims to the land and international pressure.

Schwartz said the families, most of whom are now living in crowded school dormitories in the nearby settlement of Ofra, need an “immediate solution.”


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