Government panel legalizes three settlement outposts

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April 23, 2012 23:05
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A special ministerial committee decided Monday night to legalize the three West Bank outposts of Rehalim, Bruchin and Sansana.

The move comes even as the government continues to search for a solution to the Ulpana neighborhood in Bet El, which the Supreme Court said must be evacuated by April 20 because it was built on private Palestinian land.

Officials said that high-level meetings on the Ulpana Neighborhood were held over the last two days, without any decisions being reached. One option being discussed is to uproot the neighborhood, and rebuild it on land inside Bet El which was formally used as an army base.

Regarding Rehalim and Bruchin, which are both in Samaria, and Sansana, located in the Southern Hebron Hills, government officials said the decision to formalize their status did not "change the reality on the ground," and that the move neither represented the establishment of new settlements or the expansion of existing ones.

Rather, the officials said, the move merely gave legal standing to the three communities which, for various technical reasons, had never been granted that status in the past.

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report

Read the full story here

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