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High Court: Government must provide update on Homesh outpost by August

People walk by the water tower on the ruins of Homesh, on August 27, 2019. (Hillel Meir/Flash90)
People walk by the water tower on the ruins of Homesh, on August 27, 2019. (Hillel Meir/Flash90)

In a ruling, the High Court says the state must update the government on its policy on the illegal Homesh outpost within the next two months.

“We have noted the statement of the respondents that ‘[Homesh] will be evacuated’ and that enforcement operations will continue, as specified in their court filing,” the three empaneled justices — including Chief Justice Esther Hayut — write in a brief ruling.

The justices say they expect an update within two months and “further action on the matter” will be determined accordingly.

Originally a settlement, Homesh was evacuated during the Gaza disengagement in 2005. Settlers have since repeatedly returned to the hilltop to maintain a yeshiva there. The Israeli military has quietly tolerated their presence — although it flies in the face of Israeli law barring Jewish settlement at the scene.

An Israeli state attorney acknowledged during the hearing that the army possessed a list of 40 to 45 Israelis who had been approved to reside at the outpost. Thousands of Israelis have reached the outpost in recent months in mass rallies organized by local settler leaders.

“It is well known that Homesh is an illegal outpost that must be evacuated immediately. But the High Court also cowers in the face of the violence of Homesh’s settlers,” says Meretz lawmaker Mossi Raz.

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