Israel reportedly plans to remove more than 1,000 settlers from illegal West Bank outposts after the High Holy Days.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak has drawn up a list of 26 outposts to be dismantled early in the new Jewish year, Ma’ariv reported Sunday – a move that would entail evacuating some 1,200 settlers.
Israeli officials had no immediate comment. Vice Premier Haim Ramon convened a ministerial committee Sunday to discuss the outposts that Israel, under the U.S.-led peace “road map,” is obligated to remove.
A crackdown on outposts ahead of the fall peace conference planned by the Bush administration could be perceived as a good-faith gesture by Israel.
According to independent reports, there are at least 80 outposts in the West Bank. Some are hilltop shacks and others full-fledged communities with roads and electricity. Palestinians, who want all the land for a state, see the outposts as a veiled bid to expand the jurisdiction of settlements recognized by the Israeli government.