Israeli gov’t committee legalizes three outposts


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A special Israeli government committee legalized three West Bank outposts and will seek a delay in the evacuation of a neighborhood in a Jewish settlement there.

In legalizing the outposts of Bruchin, Sansana and Rechalim on Monday, the outposts panel said in a statement that "These communities were founded in the 1990s based on the decisions of past governments."

Also, the committee charged the State Prosecutor’s Office to ask the Supreme Court to postpone the May 1 evacuation of the Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El, a settlement that is built on privately owned Palestinian land.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to find a solution to the neighborhood that would not involve destroying the 30 homes there. Defense Minister Ehud Barak has said the neighborhood should be razed and rebuilt in another area of Beit El.

Observers say that Netanyahu’s ruling government coalition could break apart if the neighborhood is destroyed.

The Cabinet on Sunday authorized the committee to reach a final decision on the recognition of settlements and outposts built on state land or through aid from the government. Netanyahu and Barak were two members of the committee; other prominent members included Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon and government minister Benny Begin.


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