State to High Court: We'll Authorize Illegal West Bank Outpost

Move follows Barak's request to delay demolition of the Kiryat Hayovel structures, home to Maj. Eliraz Peretz who was killed in Gaza.

Following Defense Minister Ehud Barak's request to delay the demolition date of illegal residential structures in the West Bank, the state on Friday announced to the High Court of Justice that it may legalize the Givat Hayovel outpost in the West Bank, if the outpost in question resides on state-owned land.

Among the structures in the Givat Hayovel outpost is the home of Maj. Eliraz Peretz, who was killed in Gaza last month, 12 years after his brother died in Lebanon. Following Peretz' death, Barak sent a letter to the High Court several weeks ago, asking to delay by six months the state announcement regarding the demolition date of the illegal structures in Givat Hayovel.

Givat Hayovel
Nir Kedar

The High Court was scheduled to announce the date of the neighborhoods' demolition by the end of April, yet several rightist MKs have voiced their objections to the demolition in light of the family's tragedy, to which Barak recently added his request.

While the High Court justices contemplate on the Defense Minister's request, the state announced on Friday that it intends to conduct a thorough investigation into the status of the land on which the structures stand – whether they are privately owned, or are indeed state lands. If it turns out the lands are privately owned, the houses will be demolished. If they are state-owned lands, the state will work to legalize the structures.