Netanyahu agrees to legalize unauthorized West Bank outpost

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Right-wing Jewish settlers build tents as they gather in the former Jewish West Bank settlement of Homesh.
Yossi Zamir/Flash90Right-wing Jewish settlers build tents as they gather in the former Jewish West Bank settlement of Homesh.

Ben-Gvir and Netanyahu agree that legalization will occur within 60 days of the government being sworn in

Israel's prime minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu and Jewish Power leader Itamar Ben-Gvir agreed on Wednesday to amend laws allowing for the legalization of unauthorized West Bank outposts. 

Outposts - sometimes called "young settlements" - are constructed without approval from the Israeli government, whereas settlements have government authorization. 

Click here for more on the difference between outposts and settlements

Far-right lawmaker Ben-Gvir has been pushing to legalize the Homesh outpost and yeshiva (Jewish educational institution) that was evacuated as part of the disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005. 

Ben-Gvir and Netanyahu agreed that the legalization, which would involve changing the Disengagement Law, would occur within 60 days of the government being sworn in. The law forbids Israelis from entering the Homesh area, yet they flock to the location regularly and have established a yeshiva there.  

ABIR SULTAN / POOL / AFP
ABIR SULTAN / POOL / AFPIsraeli lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir (R) chats with incoming prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) during the swearing in ceremony of the new Israeli government at the Knesset (Israeli parliament) in Jerusalem.

In August, the Israeli government informed the Supreme Court that Homesh would be evacuated, but did not set a date. Settlers and right-wing activists have called for the community to be rebuilt, especially following the death of Yehuda Dimentman, who was killed in a terror attack in Homesh in December 2021.

The politicians also agreed to establish a yeshiva at the Evyatar outpost that had its residents evicted last year. Additionally, the two agreed to accelerate the expansion of the main north-south highway that goes through the West Bank, Route 60, and that a law will be passed which would set minimum sentences for agricultural crimes. 

Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party released a statement after the meeting that there was “significant progress in the talks." However, even if such promises are entered into coalition agreements, there is no guarantee they would pass in parliament. 

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