Gantz meeting with settlers has not led to outpost legalization

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Likud ministers and the settlers have charged that Gantz has prevented the placement of the outpost issue on the agenda.

Tzachi Hanegbi at a protest tent erected by the Yesha Council and Young Settlements Forum outside Netanyahu’s Jerusalem office. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Tzachi Hanegbi at a protest tent erected by the Yesha Council and Young Settlements Forum outside Netanyahu’s Jerusalem office.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
A secret meeting that Alternative Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz (Blue and White) had with settlers last week has not led to the authorization of West Bank outposts.
The meeting held at the home of Diaspora Affairs Minister Omer Yankelevitch (Blue and White) was first reported on Sunday morning by Army Radio, which indicated that Gantz has spoken both in support of the outposts and in support of a meeting of the Higher Planning Council for Judea and Samaria to advance settler housing projects.

The Jerusalem Post
has since confirmed the meeting, but despite Gantz’s words, no action has been taken to advance the issue.
According to KAN News, Gantz held a meeting on the matter in the Defense Ministry with Strategic Affairs Minister Michael Biton in which it was decided not to move forward on the issue without better oversight on illegal building in Area C of the West Bank, where all the settlements are located.
Community Affairs Minister Tzachi Hanegbi has written the draft text of a government decision through which ministers would declare their intention to legalization 46 out of a list of 70 unauthorized West Bank outposts.
These are fledgling communities built over the last three decades without government approval. Their illegal status has made them vulnerable to court-ordered demolition and has made it difficult for the residents to be hooked up to regular utility services such as water and electricity.
Netanyahu, Likud ministers and the settlers have charged that Gantz has prevented the placement of the outpost issue onto the agenda.
For the last two weeks, settlers and right-wing politicians have manned a protest encampment outside Netanyahu’s Jerusalem office. Last week, a small number of settlers, including Yesha Council CEO Yigal Dilmoni began a hunger strike to protest the lack of action on the outposts.
On Monday, Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan plans to symbolically relocate his office to the protest tent.