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In final days of gov’t, Netanyahu warns Gantz not to demolish illegal outpost

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office sent a rare letter to Defense Minister Benny Gantz Wednesday warning him against demolishing an illegal outpost that was recently established by national religious settlers in the northern West Bank.

In the letter, Netanyahu’s chief of staff Asher Ohayon claimed that the head of the IDF Central Command did not have the authority to issue a directive this week barring additional construction in the Evyatar outpost and ordering all inhabitants to vacate the site with their belongings beginning next week. Ohayon said that such sensitive military orders require the prime minister’s approval — a claim that the Defense Ministry has since dismissed.

Netanyahu’s chief of staff also noted that the status of the land near the Tapuah Junction on which dozens of structures were erected without any of the necessary permits remains unclear. The Defense Ministry still needs to survey the land and if it determines that enough time has passed since the itss original Palestinian owners had worked the area, the state will take control of the territory and could well decide to legalize the outpost.

The land on which Evyatar was re-established in April historically belonged to the adjacent Palestinian........

© The Times of Israel

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