Bill would allow retroactive legalization of West Bank outposts


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A bill that will allow the retroactive legalization of West Bank outposts will be brought to a vote in the Knesset.

The measure, which is scheduled for a vote Wednesday, would allow houses in communities of 20 or more homes to remain on land claimed by a West Bank landowner if the neighborhood has been on the land for four years without complaint.

Yaakov Katz of the National Union Party submitted the bill for a vote, even though debate had been postponed for three months earlier this month by the Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs, which opposes the legislation.

If the landowner proves his claim, the court can order that he receive compensation in money or other land under the terms of the bill.

On Sunday during a meeting of Likud Party government ministers, lawmaker Gilad Erdan asked that party members be free to vote independently on the legislation. Likud ministers Michael Eitan, Dan Meridor and Benny Begin all have been highly critical of the bill.

Under a free vote, government ministers would have to vote against the legislation, but other party and coalition members could vote the way they wish.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that a committee headed by former Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy will study the outpost issue and determine other ways to retroactively legalize the West Bank outposts.

Recommended from JTA