IDF: Ramat Gilad could be evacuated

As part of its plan to evacuate 22 unauthorized outposts, the IDF warned residents of the illegal Ramat Gilad outpost in Samaria on Sunday that they could be evacuated. Inspectors from the IDF's Civil Administration posted zoning notices on buildings in Ramat Gilad. Zoning notices are put up on buildings built illegally and are used to inform people that they are residing in an unauthorized area. Defense officials said the notices had been posted ahead of the planned evacuation of the outposts. Ramat Gilad is one of four outposts of most immediate concern to the Defense Ministry, which believes that it and the four others are built on private Palestinian land. A Defense Ministry official said that Barak's settlement adviser, Eitan Broshi, was working to try and reach a compromise with the settler leaders on Ramat Gilad, near Karnei Shomron, Shaked Farm in the Shomron, Mitzpe Yosef in the Binyamin Region and Einot Kedem in the Jordan Valley. "In a first stage the emphasis will be put on the six outposts built on Palestinian land," the official said. "After those are evacuated we will start to work on the other outposts." There were another five outposts built on state land as well as 12 on half-state and half-Palestinian land. The other outposts include Bnei Adam, Aran's Tent, Mitzpe Lahish, Asael, Ahuzat Shalhevet West, Givat Avigail, Givat Hadegel, Givat Haroe, Givat Salait, Yitzhar South, Mitzpe Yitzhar, Red House Compound, Neve Daniel North, Nofei Nehemia, Ofra East and Susia North. Barak told reporters Sunday before the cabinet meeting that he would take down 22 outposts that Israel had promised the US it would dismantle under the 2003 road map peace plan. "The 22... have to be dealt with now in a responsible, appropriate manner; first of all, exhausting all efforts at dialogue and if that proves impossible, then unilaterally, using force if necessary," he said. During the cabinet meeting, however, he spoke of 26 outposts that could be removed. Overall there are some 101 outposts in the West Bank. For the last three years settlers and the government have been negotiating a deal to relocate those outposts which cannot be legalized to nearby settlements. As part of those negotiations, settlers and the government agreed to relocate the Migron outpost to the nearby Adam settlement. The talks have dealt with all 101 outposts, but since Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took office concern has focused on a small list of 22 to 26 outposts which former prime ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert promised the United States that they would remove. Dani Dayan, who heads the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip said that he has no intention of negotiating regarding the outposts until the government agreed to lift its freeze on construction permits for West Bank settlements. AP contributed to this report.