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Defense Minister Ehud Barak asked the High Court of Justice on Thursday to grant him a two-month extension to formulate a final plan for the removal of illegal West Bank settlement outposts.

The request was submitted by the state prosecution on the defense minister's behalf, during a hearing on a Peace Now petition for the removal of the Migron outpost.

In December 2006, the state prosecution asked for a four to five-month extension, to allow it to present the High Court with an update on the issue.

At the time, the prosecution said that then defense minister Amir Peretz had instructed the Israel Defense Forces to negotiate with settler leaders, in order to reach an agreement for settlers to evacuate the outposts voluntarily "at a near date." The prosecution said that, should the negotiations fail to achieve results, Peretz would order the removal of Migron within six months - by June of this year.

In May, the prosecution told the High Court that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had asked Peretz to present him by the end of the month with a plan to remove the outposts.