Ministers tell High Court they plan to legalize, not evacuate, West Bank outpost Homesh

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

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

The state informs the High Court of Justice that it has reversed the previous government’s decision to evacuate the illegal West Bank outpost of Homesh and will instead legalize the yeshiva located there by repealing parts of the 2005 Disengagement Law.

Homesh was built on private Palestinian land and the previous government told the court last year that it would evacuate the illegal yeshiva and outpost at the site, which has been rebuilt on several occasions since the settlement was first demolished by the state in 2005.

The Disengagement Law made settlement in Homesh and other areas of the northern West Bank illegal. Its planned repeal is in line with the recently signed coalition agreements.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who is a minister in the Defense Ministry,  issue a joint statement, announcing this plan.

Settlement activists praise the new government for adopting the new position, including head of the Samaria Regional Council Yossi Dagan who says settlers have “dreamed day and night to return there and rebuild the settlements anew” since the evacuation of Homesh and three other settlements in the area, which took place alongside the 2005 disengagement from Gaza.

Left-wing groups denounce the government’s new policy, however, with Yesh Din saying that legalizing Homesh violates international law and would “deepen the oppression and dispossession of the Palestinian residents who own the land there.”

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