Photo: Elad Gershgoren
Major Eliraz Peretz (Archives)
Photo: Elad Gershgoren

State says may legalize construction at West Bank outpost

In response to petition calling for demolition of illegal structures in Givat Haytovel, Defense Ministry says it needs more time to determine whether they were built on state-owned or private land. Peace Now: Only proximity talks are between government, settlers

Structures in the West Bank outpost Givat Hayovel will be legalized if it is determined that they had been built on state-owned land, this according to the response of Defense Minister Ehud Barak's advisor to a High Court petition calling to raze the structures.


The demolition orders stirred controversy after it was made known that the outpost, located near the settlement of Eli, is home to the families of slain IDF majors Eliraz Peretz and Roi Klein.


Peretz died in March during exchanges of fire in Gaza, while Klein was killed in the Second Lebanon War while jumping on a grenade to protect his soldiers.


The petition, filed by Peace Now, demands that the state enforce the demolition orders. In the state's response, filed with the court by Eitan Broshi, Barak's advisor for settlement affairs, it was noted that over the past few months the Defense Ministry has been trying to determine whether the outpost was built on state-owned or private land.


According to the state's response, the demolition orders will be enforced in case it is determined that the outpost had been built on private land, but if not, the state will consider legalizing construction there.


Broshi said there was no room to raze the structures in Givat Hayovel under the current circumstances. His response was similar to the State Prosecutor's Office stance with regards to construction at the Derech Ha'avot outpost, a possible indication of a shift in the government's policy vis-à-vis the legalization of structures that had been built on state-owned land without the necessary permits.


Peace Now General-Secretary Yariv Oppenheimer criticized the state's attempt to delay the demolition, saying, "The only proximity talks in the region are being conducted between the government of Israel and the settlers; Israel is essentially establishing new outposts to appease the Yesha Council's leadership," he said.


Earlier this week Peace Now said it would agree to a compromise whereby only the homes of the Peretz and Klein families will not be demolished.


On Monday, 35 lawmakers belonging to the Land of Israel Lobby in the Knesset sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanding that he prevent the demolition of the Givat Hayovel and Harasha outposts.


A demolition order had been issued for the 18 permanent structures in the outposts, and in February the High Court instructed the State to set a timeline for their demolition within 60 days.


פרסום ראשון: 05.07.10, 19:38
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