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Israel may pay settlers millions to leave illegal outpost

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 on 23 July 2017 at 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.[Yigal Dilmoni/Twitter]
Yair Lapid (centre) and Naftali Bennett (left) joined settlers on 23 July 2017 at 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 [Yigal Dilmoni/Twitter]

The Israeli government is preparing to give 20 million shekels ($5.68 million) in compensation to settlers who have been living in an illegal outpost on private Palestinian land, reports Haaretz.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking the approval of his coalition partners, ahead of the impending evacuation of 15 Israeli settler families from Netiv Haavot settlement outpost.

One of the buildings in Netiv HaAvot was demolished in November 2017. The Israeli Supreme Court has ordered the state to demolish the other 15 houses in March, but, according to Haaretz, “the state is expected to request that the supreme court delay the outpost’s evacuation”.

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Government ministers Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked “visited the outpost on Sunday and promised the residents they would try to postpone their eviction by three months, until construction starts on alterative homes nearby, for ‘humanitarian’ reasons”, the paper added.

According to the Times of Israel, residents of the illegal outpost will establish a “protest test” outside Netanyahu’s Jerusalem office, where they will demand “an immediate solution to prevent the evacuation as well as the construction of 350 homes in the Etzion [settlement] bloc”.

Israeli NGO Peace Now slammed the compensation plan as “political bribery for building offenders”.

The residents of Nativ Ha’avot stole land, took control of it, and built their homes on it without permission from any official source.

“This is not according to us, but rather according to the state, which issued demolition orders for all the structures,” said NGO official Shabtay Bendet.

“Now they are receiving very generous financial compensation from the same state.”

Read: Israel refuses to return Palestinian land, handing it to settlers

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