Migron outpost aerial_311.
(photo credit: Baz Ratner / Reuters)
Netanyahu rejected a legislative attempt by right-wing politicians on Sunday to
legalize West Bank outposts and prevent any further demolitions.
Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday, Netanyahu instructed its
chairman Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman to ensure that the initiative was
rejected. It was.
IDF, Border Police demolish three dwellings at Migron
Settlers fear razing of Ramat Gilad outpost
'Record number of Palestinians being displaced'
proposed by MK Zevulun Orlev (Habayit
Hayehudi) states that outpost homes built on private Palestinian property may
not be demolished, if they have been in place for more than four years, and if
at least 20 families live in the fledgling community. It proposed compensating
the Palestinian landowners.
Orlev’s initiative was co-sponsored by 19 other lawmakers, including the
chairman of every coalition faction except for Einat Wilf of the Independence
Last week, the Ministerial Committee delayed by two months any
debate or vote on a bill that similarly sought to legalize homes on private
The initiatives are part of a campaign by
politicians and settlers to prevent the state from making good on its pledge to
take down homes on private Palestinian property in a number of outposts in the
Last week, the state’s removal of a home and a chicken coop in
the Mitzpe Yitzhar outpost inflamed West Bank tensions and sparked a “price-tag”
attack against a Palestinian mosque in retribution.
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In response to a
petition from Peace Now, the state has also promised the High Court of Justice
to take down a number of homes in the Ramat Gilad outpost, located on the
outskirts of the Karnei Shomron settlement, by the end of the month. It is
expected that the state will demolish the outposts of Migron and Givat Assaf in
the coming months.
On Sunday morning, hours before the Ministerial
Committee voted against the bill, Netanyahu told Neeman to make sure it would
not pass, to allow for further negotiations with residents of Ramat Gilad over
the future of their homes.
It is also government policy not to authorize
homes on constructed on private Palestinian property.
Netanyahu has pledged to create an outpost committee to re-examine claims by
settlers and politicians that land designated by the state as belonging to
Palestinian individuals was improperly classified. To date no such committee has
Karnei Shomron resident Moshe Zar has said that in the
case of Ramat Gilad, the designation is inaccurate, because he bought the land
from Palestinians. However, the state has not accepted this
Immediately after the Ministerial Committee meeting, Public
Diplomacy Minister Yuli Edelstein (Likud) appealed the vote, saying that the
government should have a set policy on construction in Judea and Samaria, and
that legislation was the correct way to take care of the matter.
wants to take over land that belongs to a family, but there is a long way
between that and declaring that all non-state land is Palestinian land,”
The bill can still be brought to a preliminary vote in
the Knesset this week, but approval by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation
would provide government backing and make the initiative more likely to
Therefore, Orlev is waiting for the appeal process to be completed
to see if the Ministerial Committee will hold a re-vote on the
Orlev expressed confidence that most members of the
committee support his bill, even if the support was not expressed on Sunday, and
said that he was sure that it would eventually become law.
experience in legislation, and I know my bill will pass,” he said.
know that, for political reasons, dismantling settlements cannot happen under
this government, because it wants to live out its term and not be replaced by a
government that will evacuate settlements.”
MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud),
who co-sponsored the bill, called on the government to solve the outpost
problem, and to stop the harm to children and families resulting from “baseless
judicial decisions.” It was immoral to demolish homes when no Palestinians have
claimed ownership of the land, and the Ministerial Committee for Legislation
missed an opportunity to render justice to residents of outposts, Hotovely
Last week, opposition leader Tzipi Livni (Kadima) called the bill
an attempt to “launder illegal outposts and a victory for price-tag
rioters.”Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.
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