West Bank's Evyatar yeshiva, settlement plans can advance - report

Evyatar hilltop construction may be able to move forward without any legal reason to prevent it.

 A young man at the settlement of Evyatar looks out at a neighboring Palestinian village. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
A young man at the settlement of Evyatar looks out at a neighboring Palestinian village.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

There is no legal reason to prevent the advancement of a yeshiva or a settlement on the Evyatar hilltop in the Samaria region of the West Bank, Army Radio reported on Wednesday morning, quoted outgoing Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit.

The report cited a Justice Ministry meeting in which it was agreed that the issue could move forward for Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s approval.

The ministry declined to comment on the report, but the Samaria Regional Council put out a statement welcoming the move.

The hilltop is located off Route 505, which links the Samaria region with the Jordan Valley.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, in the early days after his government’s formation, had reached an agreement with settlers by which they would evacuate the illegal outpost in exchange for his promise to authorize a yeshiva and a settlement there.

A man in the outpost of Evyatar  (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)A man in the outpost of Evyatar (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

At the time, it was presumed that an evacuation would be violent, create additional unrest in the West Bank and possibly destabilize the newly created coalition.

Fifty families of settlers and right-wing activists had moved onto the hilltop in reaction to the terror attack that claimed the life of Yehuda Guetta at the nearby Tapuah junction in early May.

It was part of a protected campaign to build a settlement on that hilltop that began in honor of terror victim Evyatar Borovsky, who was killed at the same Tapuah junction in 2013.

The Biden administration has asked Israel to refrain from unilateral steps such as settlement activity. The news comes as Gantz is weighing a request by the family of terror victim Yehuda Dimentman to legalize the unauthorized yeshiva on the Homesh hilltop, which is also located in Samaria.