Ministers to debate outpost bill

The move is part of a pitched political battle to prevent the state from destroying settlement homes.

December 8, 2011 23:42
1 minute read.
Migron settlement demolition [illustrative]

Migron Demolition 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

The Ministerial Legislative Committee is likely to debate a bill on Sunday that would authorize illegal West Bank construction on private Palestinian property in settlements and outposts.

The move is part of a pitched political battle to prevent the state from destroying such homes.

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Politicians have argued that in many cases, the unauthorized homes were constructed with the help of government funds, even if they lacked the proper permits.

In some cases, the state also offered Israeli property owners incentives to purchase the homes, the politicians say.

The bill states that private Palestinian property should be reclassified as state land if settler homes were constructed on that property with the help of state funds, such as for infrastructure work or personal loans and grants. The land should also be reclassified if the state gave any kind of initial approval for the construction, the bill states.

Palestinians with proof of purchase should be compensated.

The bill adds that independently of the above conditions, whenever Palestinian owners are compensated for their land, the land in question should be reclassified.

The bill seeks to redress the situation whereby people live in homes that cannot be authorized. Politicians have noted that if the state destroys these homes, the land is not likely to be returned to the Palestinian owner in any case.

The bill was filed by MK Ya’acov Katz (National Union) and has the support of coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin (Likud). Likud MKs Miri Regev and Yair Levin have also signed on to the bill, as has Israel Beiteinu MK David Rotem.

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