Settlers of Hersha, an illegal Israeli settlement outpost in the occupied West Bank, asked the Israeli High court of Justice to compensate them if they are evicted from the outpost.The settlers made their request after the Israeli Peace Now Movement petitioned the High Court to evict and demolish the illegal outpost. The outpost, although illegal, received support from the Israeli government for the past 10 years.

Settlers’ representative at the court, attorney Yaakov Weinrot, asked the court to legalize the outpost instead of demolishing it. The outpost is constructed on Palestinian-owned property.

 The settlers presented documents proving that the Israeli government aided their outpost from 1995 until 2004.

The representatives wrote in the petition that Israel as a state had an active role in establishing the outpost, and supported it through different branches and authorities.

According to the settlers, the Israeli Housing Ministry, transferred NIS 600.000 in 1999 for the infrastructure construction at the outpost, Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported.

Haaretz added that an additional NIS 500,000 were transferred in 2001 for the construction of a community center and a day-care center, and further NIS 650,000 was transferred in 2002.

Also, the Benjamin Regional Council of settlements authorized in 2002 the settlers to begin the construction of 25 houses.

In 2004, the Israeli Housing Ministry prepared a plan for the outpost; the plan included schools and the state even constructed a meteorological survey station on the premise, Haaretz added.

The settlers also said that several ministers and Knesset members said that the outpost “is important to the regional security, and should be encouraged”.

Peace Now coordinator for settlement monitoring, Dror Etkes, told Haaretz that if the homes in the outposts were demolished, the state must compensate them.