An Israeli court ordered the evacuation of Jewish settlers from an outpost in the West Bank by Sept. 4 because it was illegally built on Palestinian land.
The High Court of Justice in Jerusalem also said today that most of the structures must be removed from the area by Sept. 11, according to the ruling sent by e-mail. It postponed the clearing of one section while the validity of its sale to settlers is checked.
“After two discussions that we conducted and listening to the arguments of both sides, we saw no reason to grant this petition,” the three-judge panel said in its ruling.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration has been negotiating with the settlers in the hope of moving them to a parcel of West Bank land that is not owned by Palestinians. Netanyahu has sought to draw a distinction between more than 100 settlements authorized by the government and another 100 unauthorized outposts that successive administrations have sought to evacuate.
The U.S. and most other countries consider all the settlements built in the West Bank, which Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war, to be illegal.
Palestinians, who number about 2.5 million in the West Bank, have been seeking to establish an independent state on the mountainous territory wedged between Israel and Jordan. The population of Israeli settlers in the West Bank has grown to more than 300,000, with another 200,000 living in east Jerusalem, which was also captured in 1967.
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