Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netenyahu, is still wary of razing six West Bank outposts waiting for demolition since 2004, while the High Court deliberates the case against the state.On Tuesday, Netanyahu said that his cabinet needed more time to decide when and how to dismantle certain illegal West Bank outposts, due to the ‘political implications’ involved. The government ‘needs time to consider its priorities,’ said Netanyahu while the High Court continues the deliberations started in 2004.
Last year, the court ordered the state to explain why it had not evacuated six illegal West Bank outposts – Givat Assaf, Ma’aleh Rehavam, Givat Haroeh, Mitzpeh Yitzhar and Mitzpeh Lachish – that were slated for evacuation in 2004.
In 2006, Peace Now petitioned the court to force the Israel military to carry out orders given in 2004 by the then defense minister, Shaul Mofaz, to evacuate the six sites. The petition was repeated in 2007, after the orders were not carried out.
Following that petition, Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced in 2008 he was extending the orders’ validity for a further year, in order to reach an agreement with settler leaders.
Prosecutors announced during a High Court hearing in May 2009 that the orders would be extended for yet another year. Now, following the end of the temporary settlement freeze, it seems the government will continue to put off enforcing the demolition orders.