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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Change: State seeking to legalize four 'illegal outposts'

Finally some positive change from our new government. The government is seeking to legalize four 'illegal outposts' that were allegedly built on 'private Palestinian land.' The most prominent of the four is Givat Assaf (pictured).
Until Tuesday it had been assumed that the Givat Assaf outpost on Route 60, in the Binyamin region of the West Bank – would be demolished because it had been built on private Palestinian property.
But last year the Givat Assaf residents told the court they had purchased much of the land on which their outpost, of some 30 families, was built.
On Tuesday the state said that it accepted the purchase claims.
It explained that the upper political echelon had ordered the civil administration and the Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories to weigh the possibility of legalizing Givat Assaf.
Such authorization, which would mean either creating a new settlement or linking Givat Assaf to a nearby existing settlement, would fly in the face of past promises Israel has made to the international community, according to Hagit Ofran of Peace Now. Israel has promised not to create a new settlement or to expand existing ones, Ofran said.
The state also dealt with five other outposts that were part of Peace Now’s petition against six outposts, which it first filed in 2005 and then refiled in 2007.
Read the whole thing. Chalk that up as the first positive change we have heard from the current government.



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