Netanyahu delays response on Peretz’s outpost home
Peace Now petitioned the High Court of Justice to halt construction of outpost homes in 2005; among are homes of two slain IDF majors.
By TOVAH LAZAROFF
In hopes of preventing the demolition of the outpost homes of two slain IDF majors, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu delayed Wednesday night the state’s anticipated response of the High Court of Justice on the matter.It had been expected that the state would present to the court its finding on the status of 18 homes, 12 in Hayovel and six in Haresha, possibly as early as Thursday.RELATED:PM working to save outpost home of slain IDF officer21% drop in number of finished settlement homesPeace Now: Settler construction is coming back strongPeace Now petitioned the High Court of Justice to halt construction of these homes in 2005, as well as six others in the Haresha outpost.At the time it was concerned that the homes lacked authorization and that civil administration injunctions to halt work on the structures had been ignored.Since then, concern has also been raised as to whether some of the homes were built on private Palestinian land instead of state land.During the legal proceedings all the homes were completed and populated. In the summer of 2006, a resident of the outpost, Maj. Roi Klein, was killed when he threw himself on a hand grenade to save his soldiers during the Second Lebanon War.AdvertisementIn March 2010, a second resident of the outpost Maj. Eliraz Peretz was killed in a firefight with Palestinian terrorists near the Gaza border.Politicians have since lobbied the state to find a way to save the two homes, where the widows and children of both men still live.Peace Now has told the court that it would not object to having these two homes excluded from the petition, if judgment was rendered on the remaining 10 homes.Earlier this year, the Defense Ministry said that it would look for a way to authorize the homes.Legalization of the homes would be the equivalent of authorizing the outpost, which is located just outside the Eli settlement. Authorization of the homes would counter numerous pledges Israel has made to the US and the international community to remove unauthorized outposts.Peace Now has expressed concern that Netanyahu’s government is looking to legalize outposts when possible, and that its stance on Hayovel is the start of a new policy with respect to outposts.The state had been expected to submit a report on the status of the land. If it were determined that the homes were built on private Palestinian land, that would prevent its legalization.On Wednesday night Netanyahu met with the Attorney General and they agreed to delay the state’s response, in hopes of preventing the destruction of the homes.Netanyahu emphasized that he opposed the demolition of the homes, and that he would seek to find a legal way to save them.Defense Minister Ehud Barak has similarly been looking to save the homes, and held a closed meeting on the matter on Wednesday.In that meeting he said he, too, was working to find a legal solution that would prevent any harm from coming to the families of Peretz and Klein.One idea the Defense Ministry may be considering is to move the home to another area in Judea and Samaria where there are permits for legalconstruction.In a press release regarding the outpost Wednesday, the Defense Ministry referred to it as a neighborhood of Eli. This contradicts a state-sponsoredreport in 2005, compiled by private attorney Talia Sasson, which determined that the outpost was located outside the boundaries of the Eli.The residents of Eli have long claimed that the outpost is part of their settlement, and that only politics have prevented the authorization of thehomes. It was created in 1998 with the help of NIS 2.7 million from the Construction and Housing Ministry.
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