Settlers Accept Israeli Government Deal to Evacuate Illegal Outpost

In an amendment to the proposed compromise, a yeshiva will only be built after a land examination is performed, according to Evyatar settlers

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The unauthorized Evyatar outpost in the West Bank, last week.
The unauthorized Evyatar outpost in the West Bank, last week.Credit: Amir Levy

Residents of the illegal Evyatar outpost in the West Bank announced Wednesday that they have accepted the final compromise outline offered to them by the Israeli government and are expected to leave the site by this weekend.

A former version of the compromise stipulated that after the settlers evacuate the outpost, a yeshiva will be established there, in addition to a military base which will be erected immediately. In the new outline, the yeshiva will be established in a few months' time, only after the government examines the ownership status of the land and declares it state-owned, according to the Samaria Regional Council.

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Defense officials declined to comment on the announcement.

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked said that the signing of the agreement with the Evyatar settlers was "an important achievement for settlement enterprise in the Land of Israel.”

Shaked also expressed gratitude to “the pioneers of Evyatar who, through their devotion, demonstrate what Zionism is.”

On Monday, Evyatar residents agreed to leave the illegal settlement as part of a compromise reached with the government.

The Evyatar outpost

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett later told his party members that the "compromise in Evyatar is not a done deal yet, and it's a sensitive issue."

Last week, the head of the IDF’s Central Command, Maj. Gen. Tamir Yadai, rejected the appeal of the settlers against his demarcation order requiring them to leave Evyatar, which took effect on Sunday. In response to their appeal, it was written that they were given a week before the evacuation order took effect.

Evyatar was established in early May on the land of three Palestinian villages, after the murder of Yehuda Guetta, who was shot and killed by a Palestinian at the nearby Tapuach junction.

The Civil Administration did not answer Haaretz’s questions concerning the ownership of the land at the site, and said the matter is still under examination. In any case, the land has never been declared state-owned land.

A military base used to be located at the site of Evyatar, after a “confiscation order” was issued to use the land. This could indicate that the land is privately owned by Palestinians. Aerial photographs published by Dror Etkes showed that before the base was built, the land was farmed. But Evyatar settlers say that according to the aerial photographs they have the land was not cultivated over the past decade.   

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