Children protest Givat Assaf evacuation order 370.
(photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)
The state is looking to authorize four West Bank outposts, including Givat Assaf
that had been slated for demolition, according to a response it submitted
Tuesday to the High Court of Justice as part of an ongoing Peace Now
Until Tuesday it had been assumed that the Givat Assaf outpost
on Route 60, in the Binyamin region of the West Bank – would be demolished
because it had been built on private Palestinian property.
But last year
the Givat Assaf residents told the court they had purchased much of the land on
which their outpost, of some 30 families, was built.
On Tuesday the state
said that it accepted the purchase claims.
It explained that the upper
political echelon had ordered the civil administration and the Coordinator for
Government Activities in the Territories to weigh the possibility of legalizing
Such authorization, which would mean either creating a new
settlement or linking Givat Assaf to a nearby existing settlement, would fly in
the face of past promises Israel has made to the international community,
according to Hagit Ofran of Peace Now. Israel has promised not to create a new
settlement or to expand existing ones, Ofran said.
The state also dealt
with five other outposts that were part of Peace Now’s petition against six
outposts, which it first filed in 2005 and then refiled in 2007.
6, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon ordered the Civil Administration to seek ways
to authorize Givat Ha-Ro’eh, whose status with respect to Palestinian ownership
The state said it wanted to authorize the Mitzpe Lachish
outpost built on state land in the South Hebron Hills by expanding the
boundaries of the nearby Negahot settlement.
Similarly, it said it wanted
to authorize the Ma’aleh Rehavam outpost, built mostly on state land, in the
Gush Etzion region.
With respect to the Mitzpe Yitzhar outpost, the state
said it had taken down two homes built there on private Palestinian property,
and would demolish another one that had since been built on private Palestinian
With respect to Ramat Gilad, the state explained an agreement
that had been reached with its residents to relocate many of the homes to a
different portion of the hilltop on which the outpost is located.