Responding to a request from the Israeli High Court regarding two illegal settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli government stated that it intends to “legalize” Hersha and Givat Hayovel.In July of last year, the High Court demanded the Israeli government to provide it with a detailed timeframe regarding orders to demolish the two outposts as such orders were officially made by the court in 2001 and 2003.

But Israel kept delaying the implementation of the court order, and the current the government of Netanyahu decided to legalize the outposts if they were built on “government land”. But the outposts, as well as all settlements, are build in the occupied territories and lands illegally confiscated by Israel while some outposts were illegally installed by the settlers without any Israeli approval.

Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, recently demanded the government to halt the removal of Givat Hayovel illegal outpost after an Israeli soldier, a resident of the outpost, was killed during an Israeli invasion to Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, more than a month ago.

The outpost includes 12 homes installed on privately owned Palestinian lands.
Israeli paper Haaretz reported that the government filed its response to the court on Friday informing it that it intends to legalize the constructions in the Givat Hayovel outpost unless it finds out that it was built on privately owned Palestinian lands.

But even if the outpost is found to be built on private Palestinian lands, there will be no timeframe for removing it.

Settler leaders and Israeli Knesset members Zeev Elkin and Arieh Eldad “saluted” Netanyahu for his intention to legalize the outposts, and said that all Jewish constructions in what they called “Judea and Samaria” as well as every part of the country, must be legalized.

Likud member of Knesset, Danni Ayalon, said that “Netanyahu chose the correct path, the path of the Likud to legalize all outposts”.

Israeli Peace Now movement slammed the Israeli decision and said that instead of resolving the issue of settlement outposts and removing them, Israel is legalizing illegal constructions built in the heart of the West Bank and is constructing more settlements.