Government to Ask Court for More Time to Evacuate Settlement Outposts

The government is expected this week to outline its position on three outpost-related High Court petitions.

The government will ask the Supreme Court this week for more time to evacuate West Bank outposts in light of the administration's freeze on settlement construction and related diplomatic developments.

The government is expected this week to inform the court on its position on three outpost-related High Court petitions. One is over the demolition of the Yovel neighborhood in the settlement of Eli and seven homes in Harasha.

The court has asked the state to present a timetable for razing the homes.

The second petition is for the demolition of the Netiv Ha'avot outpost in Gush Etzion, for which the government was also ordered to provide a timetable.

The third is for the implementation of demarcation orders for six outposts including Givat Assaf, Mitzpeh Lachish and Ma'aleh Rehavam.

Lawmakers and ministers have been criticizing the state's response to the High Court orders. The administration, said ministers Moshe Ya'alon and Limor Livnat among others, is continuing the policies of its predecessor and playing into the hands of the political left.

Haaretz has learned that cabinet secretary Zvi Hauser has been charged with drafting a government plan on petitions relating to illegal settlement activity. On Tuesday, Hauser toured Netiv Ha'avot, where residents told him about the history of their community and their concern over its impending demolition.

In internal discussions on outpost policy, cabinet ministers decided they would tell the Supreme Court that given the settlement freeze and diplomatic developments surrounding it, the state will need more time to draft a policy on the outposts' demolition.

A document released last week summarized a Defense Ministry meeting from October 18, during which Amos Gilad, coordinator of government activities in the territories and head of the ministry's diplomatic-security division, said the outposts' demolition must be postponed.

The government's official position will likely not be unveiled until the last possible moment.