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Mitzpe Lachish outpost
Photo courtesy of Peace Now
Court orders state to move forward with evacuating outposts
Peace Now petitions High Court for third time since order to vacate six illegal West bank outposts was issued in 2004

The High Court of Justice on Wednesday issued an order demanding that the state explain within 90 days why a number of illegal outposts have not yet been evacuated, despite a standing order issued in 2004.

 

The outposts in question are Givat Asaf, Ma'ale Rehav'am, Ramat Gilad, Givat Haroe, Mitzpe Yitzhar, and Mitzpe Lachish, all of which are located in the West Bank.

 

In May of 2006 the Peace Now movement petitioned the High Court with a demand to evacuate the six outposts. The movement's claim rested on a 2004 warrant, issued by former Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, which ordered the outposts vacated.

 

The defense minister in 2006, Amir Peretz, extended the evacuation order by two years following a petition filed by the settlers. Peretz announced that at the end of that period the settlers would be evacuated by force if needed.

 

In 2007 Peace Now filed another petition, as the evacuation had not yet taken place. Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced in 2008 that the order would be extended for an additional year, during which time the state would attempt negotiation with the settlers.

 

During the talks Wednesday the state declared that it would once again extend the order by one year, but the court denied the move and ordered the government to offer a solution within the space of three months.

 

Following the hearing Peace Now attorney Michael Sefarad tolf Ynet, "The State of Israel has been violating its commitments time and time again, not just those it made to the Americans but to the high Court as well."

 

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