Jerusalem demonstration outside the PMO's office, against the demolition of 15 homes in the Netiv Haavot..
(photo credit: CAMPAIGN TO SAVE NETIV HAAVOT.)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Sunday afternoon with representatives of 15 families from the Netiv Ha’avot outpost whose homes are set for demolition on March 6, a spokesman for the Gush Etzion Regional Council said. The meeting, which was held in the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem and reached no conclusions, was also attended by Netanyahu’s chief of staff, Yoav Horowitz.
Horowitz met last week with families in the outpost, which located on the outskirts of the Elazar settlement in the Gush Etzion region of the West Bank.
“Today we will also convene a committee chaired by me on the issue of Netiv Ha’avot,” Netanyahu said at Sunday’s weekly governmental meeting.
“We have been dealing with this continuously and are trying to find a humane and logical solution for a humane problem. I hope that we will succeed in moving forward.”
Outside the meeting, Netiv Ha’avot residents, mostly children, held a small rally to target ministers as they entered the building.
The protesters blew whistles and held signs that said, “Enough of the destruction – Let’s stay in Netiv Ha’avot.” The rally was one of several protest events residents have held in the last month.
“We’re not just asking for damage to be mitigated,” said Netiv Ha’avot resident Ami Gvirtzman. “We’re asking to stop the destruction.”
Netanyahu has also discussed the issue with Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and representatives from the Civil Administration.
Last year – after a land survey found that 15 of the 41 homes were not on state land – the High Court of Justice ruled that the homes must be razed.
But the government has yet to offer the 15 families an alternative. Residents would like their homes relocated to the portion of the outpost that is on state land, particularly since the state has told the High Court it wants to legalize the community.
Relocation of the homes is dependent on passage of a master plan that would legalize the outpost as a new neighborhood in the Elazar settlement.
But that process is frozen, pending an appeal by the Left-wing group Yesh Din to the Civil Administration protesting the classification of the property on which the 26 homes stand as state land. It has also petitioned the High Court against those homes and has argued that eight of the homes are located on private Palestinian property.
Separately, six of the Netiv Ha’avot families have asked the High Court to rescind its demolition order, because the property line runs straight through their structures, placing only half of the home on state land.