Gilad Farm residents mull removal of 4 homes

Families of the Samaria outpost meet to discuss taking homes down on their own that the state has slated for removal.

Samaria mountains 521 (photo credit: ITSIK MAROM)
Samaria mountains 521
(photo credit: ITSIK MAROM)
Residents of the Gilad Farm outpost met Tuesday night to consider voluntarily removing four unauthorized homes in their hilltop community of several dozen families, according to outpost spokesman Itai Zar.
The state has already informed the High Court of Justice that there is an understanding in which the Samaria Regional Council will take down the homes of its own accord.
If not, it has warned, security forces will forcibly remove them within a week.
“The matter is still under discussion,” said council head Gershon Mesika. He added that he would talk about it with Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj.-Gen. Eitan Dangot when the two meet on Wednesday.
The outpost, located in the Samaria region of the West Bank near the Kedumim settlement, was built in 2001 in memory of Gilad Zar, who was shot dead by Palestinians that year as he was driving by that area.
The IDF demolished the entire outpost in 2002 because it lacked authorization. Settlers have since rebuilt it.
While most of the outpost is located in the West Bank’s Area C, which is under Israeli military and civil control, two of the endangered homes are on land situated in Area B, which is under the civil control of the Palestinian Authority. Another two homes are partially in Area B and partially in Area C. All Israeli settlements and outposts must be in Area C.
In 2012, the Israeli NGO Yesh Din petitioned the High Court against the two homes completely located in Area B.
It did so on behalf of Azzat Assad Rashid Zoan, a Palestinian resident of Immatin, near Nablus, who claims ownership of the land.
After the petition was filed, Gilad Farm residents built the two homes that were partially in Area B.
On June 2, security forces moved to destroy all four homes. Settlers countered by filing an immediate petition against the demolition, claiming ownership of the land.
On June 6, the court rejected their petition, noting that land ownership issues were not germane. The court said the issue at hand was the absence of authorization and the presence of the homes in Area B.