ginot arieh outpost.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The High Court of Justice on Sunday gave Defense Minister Amir Peretz until July 8 to present a plan to evacuate illegal outposts in the West Bank.
The order by High Court Justice Dorit Beinisch comes in response to a petition by Peace Now, which had asked the court to force the IDF to evacuate the Migron outpost, which was established in 2002 and has some 63 caravans.
It comes two days before the Labor primary, in which a new Labor Party leader will be determined. Peretz, who has already lost that race, is likely to either step down from his position as defense minister or be removed from it.
The order also followed instructions by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to Peretz in the spring in which he asked for an evacuation plan for the outposts by the end of May that included Migron.
At that time, Olmert instructed Peretz to establish a timetable for the evacuation of the outposts based on the principle of "starting with the easy ones and going on to the harder ones."
Peace Now Director General Yariv Oppenheimer called Sunday's decision a "minor" step in the overall process. "The big decision will be taken a month from now when there is a court hearing."
He said that it was not clear from the document how large an evacuation plan Peretz was expected to present. There are some 105 unauthorized outposts in the West Bank, but evacuation moves have centered around a group of 24 whose removal was authorized by the cabinet in 2005.
Talks had been under way between the government and the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip regarding a compromise regarding the outposts that would avoid a violent confrontation. But such talks have stalled.