West Bank outpost is legalized


The West Bank outpost of Bruchin received its charter, making it a legal settlement.

The town, located near Ariel and home to more than 100 families, is now part of the Samaria Regional Council.

The head of the Israel Defense Forces Central Command, Maj.-Gen. Nitzan Alon, signed an order Sunday giving the outpost legal status, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The change comes nearly four months after the Israeli government decided to legalize Bruchin and two other outposts—Sansana and Rechalim—which were founded in the 1990s on state land and with millions of dollars in assistance from the country’s Construction and Housing Ministry.

The European Union, the United Nations and the United States, as well as several other governments, condemned the legalization when it was announced in April.

Bruchin was highlighted as an illegal outpost in Israel’s Sasson Report published in 2005, which showed that millions of dollars were diverted from Israeli government agencies to build illegal settlements and outposts.

Israeli government committee legalizes three outposts


A special Israeli government committee legalized three West Bank outposts and will seek a delay in the evacuation of a neighborhood in a Jewish settlement there.

In legalizing the outposts of Bruchin, Sansana and Rechalim on Monday, the outposts panel said in a statement that “These communities were founded in the 1990s based on the decisions of past governments.”

Also, the committee charged the State Prosecutor’s Office to ask the Supreme Court to postpone the May 1 evacuation of the Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El, a settlement that is built on privately owned Palestinian land.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to find a solution to the neighborhood that would not involve destroying the 30 homes there. Defense Minister Ehud Barak has said the neighborhood should be razed and rebuilt in another area of Beit El.

Observers say that Netanyahu’s ruling government coalition could break apart if the neighborhood is destroyed.

The Cabinet on Sunday authorized the committee to reach a final decision on the recognition of settlements and outposts built on state land or through aid from the government. Netanyahu and Barak were two members of the committee; other prominent members included Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon and government minister Benny Begin.