Army signs off on legalizing West Bank outpost of Bruchin

Government recognized community as settlement in April; Peace Now objects to creation of ‘irreversible’ situation

A view of the Bruchin settlement. (photo credit: Ariel Schalit, File/AP)
A view of the Bruchin settlement. (photo credit: Ariel Schalit, File/AP)

The West Bank outpost of Bruchin received official recognition last week from GOC Central Command Major General Nitzan Alon. Alon signed an order legalizing Bruchin as an authorized Israeli settlement after the government voted to recognize it, along with Sansana and Rachelim, last April.

Gershon Masikah, Shomron Regional Council Head, was quoted by Army Radio Sunday as saying, “The prime minister made the logical decision and ended years of injustice.” The same report quoted Peace Now Secretary General Yariv Oppenheimer as saying, “The Israeli government is making outposts kosher and creating an irreversible situation that we will never be able to get out of.”

In April the government denied that it was embarking on a new, controversial policy of retroactively legalizing outposts, adding that the three outposts were unique because they had received a degree of government approval when they were first created.

“These communities were founded in the 1990s based on the decisions of past governments,” said a statement issued by the government panel that authorized the move. Formed in April, the panel included Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Yaalon, and Minister without Portfolio Benny Begin.

Bruchin has around 350 residents and is located in the northern West Bank, along with Rachelim, which is home to around 240 people. Sansana, home to 240 people, is in the southern West Bank, near Hebron.

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