Cabinet: All West Bank Outposts on Private Palestinian Land to Go by Year's End

Netanyahu's government responds to petition submitted by Peace Now regarding six contentious outposts; homes built on non-private still subject to debate.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government has ordered the state to demolish all illegal West Bank outposts built on private Palestinian land by the end of 2011, Cabinet Secretary Zvi Hauser announced on Monday.

The cabinet decision was made in response to a petition submitted by the Israeli NGO Peace Now, demanding that the government put into effect a demarcation order already issued regarding six contentious outposts: Ramat Gilad, Mitzpe Yitzhar, Givat Har'eh, Givat Asaf. Ma'aleh Rehavam and Mitzpeh Lachish.

The West Bank outpost of Givat Asaf
Nir Kafri

The government decided earlier this month that it would immediately dismantle all illegal outposts built on private land, with the sole exception of the house owned by slain Israel Defense Forces officer Eliraz Peretz, but had not yet set a timetable for that matter.

At the same time, however, the government will begin legalizing illegal outposts built on state land. Regarding Peretz's house, the government will ask the court for more time to find a solution.

According to the order issued Monday, all of the homes in Givat Asaf, and some of the homes in Givat Har'eh and Ramat Gilad, will be razed. Mitzpeh Yitzhar is built on survey land, which means its official owners have not yet been determined.

Hauser said that further debate would be held regarding outposts built on non-private land, but current enforcement would be geared against the invasion of private land.