ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 138

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Bill aimed at legalizing Homesh outpost clears first hurdle

Jeremy Sharon is The Times of Israel’s legal affairs and settlements reporter

Right-wing MKs, including former Knesset speaker Yuli Edesltein, visit the illegal settlement outpost of Homesh in 2022. (Roi Hadi)
Right-wing MKs, including former Knesset speaker Yuli Edesltein, visit the illegal settlement outpost of Homesh in 2022. (Roi Hadi)

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation approves the passage of a bill to repeal clauses of the 2005 Disengagement Law, which led to the evacuation of four settlements in the northern West Bank along with all the Israeli settlements in Gaza.

The bill is key to the government’s goal of legalizing the wildcat settlement outpost of Homesh and a yeshiva that has been built there, which activists have tried repeated to re-establish since 2005.

The outpost, inhabited by several dozen yeshiva students and teachers, is built on private Palestinian land and is one of the settlements evacuated under the Disengagement Law.

The legislation was submitted by Likud MK Yuli Edelstein, who heads the high-level Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, with the strong backing of Settlements and National Missions Minister Orit Strock. It will now move to the Knesset for a preliminary reading in the plenum on Wednesday.

The left-wing Yesh Din organization condemns the approval of the bill, saying it is designed to “make the theft of land at Homesh kosher,” and adds that “canceling the Disengagement Law won’t change the status of the land as private land and won’t legalize the outpost.”

Finance Minister  Bezalel Smotrich, leader of the ultra-nationalist Religious Zionism party, cheers the bill’s approval, calling it “an important day on which the government of Israel is moving the ship [forward] and supporting settlement.”

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