outpost, flag 298.
(photo credit: AP [file])
More than two months after pledging to deal with the issue of unauthorized West Bank outposts, Defense Minister Amir Peretz announced on Monday that he will hear a plan regarding the removal of some of them within 10 days.
Peretz told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the settlers would be willing to evacuate some of the outposts based on reports from the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.
However, Council spokeswoman Emily Amrusi denied the report. She said that settler leaders and defense officials had held meetings regarding the outposts.
"But there is no agreement that we know of regarding their removal," she said.
Kadima MK Otniel Schneller who has acted as the middle man in talks between settlers and the government on various issues said that he too knew of no promise by the settlers to evacuate voluntarily.
The relationship between the government and the settlers has improved, Schneller added. Both sides have been meeting and exchanging ideas, he said.
But there is a difference between those conversations and a concrete agreement, he added.
According to a government report in 2005, there are some 105 unauthorized outposts in Judea and Samaria of which the government has already approved the removal of 24.