IDF signs injunction legalizing Bruchin outpost (JERUSALEM POST) By TOVAH LAZAROFF 08/13/12)
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OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Nitzan Alon on Sunday signed an order
transforming the Bruchin outpost into a legal settlement under the
auspices of the Samaria Regional Council.
Alon’s signature on the document was technical matter. It implemented
a March decision reached by a small panel of cabinet ministers to
change the status of three outposts – Bruchin, Rehelim and Sansana –
to authorized settlements.
Alon has yet to sign on orders legalizing Sansana and Rehelim.
The panel pre-dated the Ministerial Settlements Committee, created in
June, which now has the power to authorize new settlements.
Since Bruchin’s creation in 1999 on state land, some 30 km. east of
Tel Aviv, it has sought legalization from the government. Those
efforts intensified in the past four or five years, as the council
organized visits to Bruchin by ministers, politicians and other
“This is a day of celebration for the State of Israel and for
Zionism,” Samaria Regional Council head Gershon Mesika said. It
corrects years of in which Bruchin residents were unjustly harmed by
the fact that their community lacked the proper authorizations, he
Bruchin’s transformation into a legal settlement is a “triumph of
common sense over the politics and convictions of the anti-Zionist
Left,” Mesika said.
He credited Bruchin’s authorization to the work of left-wing
organizations, such as Peace Now, whose petitions to the High Court
of Justice against West Bank outposts had backfired and pushed the
government to legalize some of them.
On a note of irony, Mesika recalled that just two weeks ago, the
Samaria Regional Council had issued honorary citizenship certificates
to Peace Now executive director Yariv Oppenheimer and to attorney
Michael Sfard, who often represents left-wing nongovernmental groups
in court with regard to land issues in Area C of the West Bank. Under
the Olso Accords, Israel has full civil and military control over
Bruchin was built without the proper permits but with the support of
NIS 6.6 million from the Construction and Housing Ministry, according
to information from the 2005 outpost report for the government penned
by attorney Talia Sasson.
It is home to more than 100 families, which made it one of the
largest West Bank outposts, according to the Samaria Regional Council.
In March, the government said that the move to authorize the three
outposts was simply an implementation of decisions taken by past
governments that were never put in place.
Peace Now has charged that the move breaks Israel’s pledge to the
international community not to create new settlements.
On Sunday, Oppenheimer said that Alon’s order was “more proof that
this government is deepening the occupation, and legalizing things
[settlements] that past governments never approved.”
In March, the international community also condemned the initial
decision by the cabinet panel to legalize three outposts, claiming
that it harmed the peace process.
The Palestinians have insisted that they will not negotiate with
Israel unless it freezes settlement activity and Jewish building in
This year, in particular, the government has more vocally supported
the legalization of unauthorized Jewish building in the West bank.
In July, however, a three-person legal panel presented the government-
initiated Levy Report, which said that Israel has the right under
international law to create authorized Jewish communities in the West
Bank. It urged the government to legalize Jewish West Bank building,
including all outposts located on state land.
The report has yet to be debated and voted upon by the Ministerial
The Samaria Regional Council is circulating an online petition in
support of the Levy Report. It is based on a letter 65 American
Jewish leaders sent to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, urging him
to approve the report. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 08/13/12)
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