Construction of Illegal West Bank Settlement Outpost Frozen by Israel's Top Court

Peace Now says 20 more buildings going up at Kerem Re’im; state lawyers say outpost built on state-owned lands

FILE PHOTO: Buildings under construction are seen in the Israeli settlement of Modiin Illit in the occupied West Bank March 27, 2017. Picture taken March 27, 2017.

Israel's top court ordered an immediate halt to any construction in the illegal outpost of Kerem Re’im in the central West Bank. This includes any marketing or promotion of this illegal construction. Several dozen families live in the outpost, which lies near the settlement of Talmon, within the jurisdiction of the Binyamin Regional Council.

According to the petition, filed by Peace Now, 20 additional illegal buildings are under construction at this outpost. In response to the petition Justice Yoram Danziger issued a stop-work order forbidding any further work in the buildings mentioned in the petition or any transactions related to these structures and their population.

According to the petition, the state had previously promoted an urban building plan for the area but this was never completed. Peace Now says there are currently 38 structures on the site, in addition to the 20 under construction, and that the regional council is supporting and encouraging this outpost.

For example, the petition notes the Facebook page of Binyamin Regional Council chairman Avi Roeh, who is also the head of the Yesha (Judea and Samaria) settlers council. There he describes a visit he conducted to the outpost with Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.

State attorneys asked that the petition be dismissed, stressing that the area on which the outpost stood was state-owned land, and that there was an earlier plan to retroactively legitimize the outpost. The state noted that all the illegal structures in the outpost were on state-owned land, and that many previous orders had been given to stop construction there, but none were heeded.