Four homes demolished in Givat Assaf outpost

In second settlement demolition this week, homes razed in response to 2007 NGO petition against six West Bank outposts built without authorization.

A structure deemed illegal is demolished, Givat Assaf. (photo credit: TAZPIT)
A structure deemed illegal is demolished, Givat Assaf.
(photo credit: TAZPIT)
Four homes on private Palestinian property in the Givat Assaf outpost were destroyed in accordance with a High Court of Justice mandate that the structures must be removed by Sunday, May 18.
Three homes in the outpost, located in the center of the West Bank, about four kilometers from the settlement of Beit El, were taken down Thursday by the community itself. The fourth was removed Friday morning, with the help of the Border Police, after one of the homeowners did not want to leave the structure.
The High Court ordered the homes to be razed in response to a 2007 petition by Peace Now against six West Bank outposts that were built without authorization.
Peace Now had asked the state to demolish all six outposts.
The state told the court it intended to find a way to legalize the six hilltop communities, but had not taken steps to do so.
In November 2013, the High Court ordered the state to stop dragging its feet on the matter. It ordered the state to remove all homes in the outposts that were on private Palestinian property by May 18.
This Sunday, the state must also inform the court of steps it has taken to legalize the six outposts.
On Wednesday, security forces removed six homes, a pergola and a storage unit, all of which were located on private Palestinian property in the Ma’aleh Rehavam outpost.
Located in the Gush Etzion region of the West Bank, the outpost is home to about 30 families.
Two of the outposts, Givat Assaf and Ramat Gilad asked the court for a delay. On Thursday, the High Court gave Ramat Gilad, an outpost located in the Samaria region of the West Bank, until July 3 to relocate a number of structures, including a synagogue, onto state land.
It also gave Givat Assaf until June 30 to validate purchase claims on a plot of land in the outpost on which three homes are located.
Givat Assaf was built in 2001 by the T-junction off Route 60. It was named for a resident of nearby settlement Ofra, Assaf Hershkowitz, 30, a father of two children, who was killed by a Palestinian terrorist in a drive-by shooting at that junction.