Two prominent Israeli politicians yesterday participated in the inauguration of a monument that was rebuilt in the illegal settlement outpost of Netiv HaAvot after the Israeli Supreme Court ordered the outpost's demolition and the evacuation of all settlers.
Yair Lapid, the head of the Yesh Atid party, and Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, head of the ultra-right-wing Jewish Home Party, joined settlers at the ceremony to mark what settlers consider to be the beginning of a campaign against the Supreme Court decision. The MKs were called on to work towards annulling the court's decision.
The Supreme Court issued a decision to demolish and evacuate the settlement outpost by March 2018, giving Israeli authorities a year and a half to implement the decision after it was proven that the outpost had been built in 2001 on private Palestinian land belonging to residents of the Palestinian village of Al-Khader, located to the southwest of occupied Bethlehem.
Addressing Lapid, Bennett said: "Your presence here shows that we can extend our hands to one another and I very much appreciate this. I call on the lawyers to hurry up [to annul the decision to evacuate the settlement outpost] and we will help them, so do not demolish what has been built."
Lapid said the Supreme Court's decision was the result of a dispute over the land and incitement by Palestinians and by Israeli human rights organisations. He expressed his refusal to evacuate citizens from the settlement outpost.
The settlers in the settlement outpost plan to hold a sit-in in front of the office of the Israeli Prime Minister in order to prevent the demolition and evacuation of the outpost.