'Givat Hayovel may be legalized'

Defense Ministry responds to Peace Now appeal on outposts.

Settlements248.88 (photo credit: AP)
(photo credit: AP)
Israel may legalize the West Bank outpost of Givat Hayovel, home to the widow and children of Maj. Eliraz Peretz, the Defense Ministry announced on Friday.
A statement addressed to the High Court for Justice read that if the land on which Givat Hayovel and neighboring outpost Haresha are built on is found to belong to the government and not to Palestinians, there is a high likelihood that they will be made legal.
The Defense Ministry was responding to a long-standing court appeal by Peace Now, according to which the houses in the settlements were built without permits. The organization has argued that the homes in Haresha are built on private Palestinian land, and that in Givat Hayovel they are partially on private Palestinian land.
There are twelve houses in Givat Hayovel, one belonging to the bereaved Peretz family, another to the widow of Maj. Roy Klein, who was killed in the Second Lebanon War.
In April, National Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau urged Defense Minister Ehud Barak to legalize the outposts and save them from demolition.
Barak then sent a personal letter to Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch asking her to postpone the deadline for the state’s update on the steps it is taking to demolish 18 illegal houses in both outposts.
Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.